Microsoft announced plans to acquire ZeniMax for $7.5 billion.
More than three billion people on the planet play games for fun, escape, and human connection, making videogames the largest and fastest-growing form of entertainment in the world—an industry that is expected to be more than $200 billion in annual revenue in 2021. This is why Microsoft wants in and announced the acquisition of ZeniMax, the parent company of videogame studio Bethesda Softworks, for $7.5 billion.
In the past, Microsoft valued exclusivity, making its biggest games, like the Halo series, playable only for people who owned an Xbox. Now, Microsoft doesn’t care as much about where you play its games, the Verge writes. What’s important is that subscribers to Microsoft’s subscription service, Game Pass, get first access to the most popular games. Microsoft is no longer playing the same game as Sony, and the Bethesda purchase may well make that point clearer than ever before, the article adds. With unique investments in content, community, and the cloud, Microsoft’s gaming strategy differs from others by empowering people to play the games they want, with the people they want, anywhere they want.
Bethesda parent company ZeniMax Media was founded in 1999 by Chairman and CEO Robert A. Altman; Bethesda’s structure and leadership will remain in place.
“Gaming is the most expansive category in the entertainment industry, as people everywhere turn to gaming to connect, socialize and play with their friends,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Quality differentiated content is the engine behind the growth and value of Xbox Game Pass—from Minecraft to Flight Simulator. As a proven game developer and publisher, Bethesda has seen success across every category of games, and together, we will further our ambition to empower the more than three billion gamers worldwide.”
“This is an awesome time to be an Xbox fan. In the last 10 days alone, we’ve released details on our two new consoles which go on pre-order tomorrow, launched cloud gaming in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and now we’re making another investment in the most critical part of our strategy: the games,” said Phil Spencer, executive vice president, Gaming at Microsoft. “Generations of gamers have been captivated by the renowned franchises in the Bethesda portfolio and will continue to be so for years to come as part of Xbox.”