Microsoft to acquire Bethesda & parent company ZeniMax Media

Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom, Wolfenstein, and other major Bethesda properties are coming under the Microsoft banner in a deal valued at around $7.5 billion.


Microsoft announced a massive pick-up for its collection of game studios today. The publishing giant and Xbox company is picking up ZeniMax media in a newly announced deal. Consequently, the new deal with brings Bethesda and everything that comes with it, including Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Doom, Wolfenstein, and other major gaming franchises into Microsoft’s already massive stable.

The news was announced by Microsoft itself on Twitter and in a press release on September 21, 2020. According to sources familiar with the deal, Microsoft will pay around $7.5 billion for the acquisition. It’s about than three times what Microsoft paid to acquire Mojang back in 2014 for $2.5 billion, but gives Microsoft access to everything involved with ZeniMax, including Bethesda Game Studios (The Elder Scrolls, Fallout), Arkane Studios (Dishonored, Deathloop), id Software (Doom), MachineGames (Wolfenstein), Tango Gameworks (The Evil Within, Ghostwire: Tokyo), and more.

With Microsoft’s acquirement of ZeniMax Media and Bethesda, a lot of opportunities seem to be in the works as to what happens with the ongoing franchises included in the deal. For instance, there are already quite a few Bethesda games that can be found in the Xbox Game Pass, such as Fallout 76, but with this new deal, current popular titles such as Doom (2016) and Doom: Eternal and upcoming titles like Ghostwire: Tokyo, and Elder Scrolls 6 seem to be on the way to the already phenomenally popular program as well.

Meanwhile, Arkane Studios' Deathloop has been an exclusive to PlayStation 5 and PC for some time and one wonders if anything will change with this deal. Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax comes at quite the high cost, but with everything Bethesda’s various studios had on the slate in the future and going on currently, it’s easily the most high-profile pick-up for Microsoft to date.

With a gaming giant such as Bethesda under its belt, we expect Microsoft to make full use of the incredibly popular franchises therein as the company prepares for the launch of the Xbox Series S and X. Stay tuned for updates as we watch to see how Microsoft makes use of the ZeniMax pickup.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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