One of the more surprising news stories of last year was that Microsoft would be acquiring ZeniMax/Bethesda, giving them ownership of some of gaming’s most iconic franchises. Since then, we’ve pondered and debated what the move could mean for the future of Bethesda, as well as Xbox exclusive games. However, Microsoft would still need to clear some hurdles before anything would be official. Now, the Bethesda acquisition is all but complete as Microsoft has received approval from the SEC and EU.
Just this weekend, the SEC (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) gave its official approval to the massive acquisition. Though Microsoft and Zenimax had already agreed to the deal, organizations like the SEC need to sign off, as it's their duty to protect the free market against manipulation. However, Microsoft would need more than just the nod of approval from the American government to move forward.
On Monday, March 8, the European Commission also cleared the deal, knocking down the last major obstacle in Microsoft’s path to close the acquisition. Microsoft originally requested the EC’s approval back in February, as the case is detailed on the organization’s website.
With approval from both the SEC and EC, Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax and Bethesda will likely close in a matter of days. Of course, many are expecting an official announcement from Microsoft when the ink dries, but it’s unclear if the company has any plans to do so. Once the acquisition is official, titles like Doom, The Elder Scrolls, and Fallout will all be under the Microsoft banner. Many have speculated whether or not Microsoft will go Xbox/Windows-exclusive with all of its new properties, or if it’ll continue to publish for all platforms. It’s a question we kicked around ourselves in a feature story last year.
With SEC and EU approval, Microsoft's acquisition of Zenimax and Bethesda seems to be coming into the homestretch. For more on the massive deal, stick with us here at Shacknews.