In context: Assuming no last-minute hurdles pop up, Microsoft will officially own ZeniMax, and all of its subsidiaries, very shortly. Last year, Microsoft announced its decision to purchase ZeniMax Media, the parent company of well-known game developer Bethesda. The deal would have been worth about $7.5 billion if it was approved by global regulators, and today that approval has finally gone through.
Neither the SEC nor the European Commission has attached any terms or restrictions to the deal — at least, none of note. Microsoft appears to have done everything by the book, and presumably, the size of the merger isn’t significant enough to set off any regulatory red flags.
For consumers, the impacts of this merger will be felt soon: more and more of Bethesda’s games will come to Xbox Game Pass, for starters, and future titles from the company could be Xbox (and PC) exclusives.
We’re not rooting for that outcome by any means, but it’s a strong possibility, especially given the strong exclusive titles Sony has been pumping out lately.
Microsoft has been fairly consumer-friendly this console generation — and toward the tail end of the last gen — so we hope that continues despite its increasing control over the AAA side of the industry. Either way, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. If any more important news surfaces surrounding the Microsoft-ZeniMax deal, we’ll be sure to let you know.