In case you missed the bombshell news this morning, Microsoft has entered into an agreement to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, for $7.5 billion in cash. This brings incredibly popular franchises like Doom, The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and Dishonored under the Xbox umbrella. And Todd Howard, director of Bethesda Game Studios and the man that is almost synonymous with the brand at this point, has now shared a statement about the acquisition.
"I have been incredibly blessed to spend my entire career at, and help build, one of the best places to make games in the world - Bethesda," Howard's statement reads in part. "And I’ve had the joy of doing it with some of the most talented, humble, and passionate people there are. They are part of my family, and my good friends. I have also had the pleasure of working with, and partnering with, many of the best gaming and tech companies in the world. But our longest, and closest partner during my career, has been Microsoft."
After almost a lifetime of working together, we're excited to be joining our longest and closest partner, @Xbox.September 21, 2020
The full statement is worth a read, and Howard goes on to describe the early days of bringing Morrowind to Xbox among other details, stating that the two companies basically grew up hand in hand. "Like our original partnership, this one is about more than one system or one screen," Howard's statement continues. "We share a deep belief in the fundamental power of games, in their ability to connect, empower, and bring joy. And a belief we should bring that to everyone - regardless of who you are, where you live, or what you play on. Regardless of the screen size, the controller, or your ability to even use one."
As noted above, Microsoft is acquiring ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion in cash. The deal is subject to all the usual legal hurdles behind such acquisitions, but Microsoft expects to close on it in the second half of 2021's fiscal year. This marks just the latest high-profile acquisition from Xbox with previous companies like Double Fine Productions and Obsidian Entertainment being acquired in recent years.
The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are both set to launch on November 10th for $499 and $299, respectively. Pre-orders are expected to go live tomorrow morning, September 22nd. You can check out all of our previous coverage of Xbox right here.
What do you think of Bethesda getting bought? How do you feel about Howard's statement? Let us know in the comments, or hit me up directly on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk all things gaming!