Microsoft ZeniMax deal gets EU, US approval; 20 Bethesda games coming to Xbox Game Pass
The company shared these developments in a round-table live stream with a blog post with the complete list of Bethesda titles coming to Xbox Game Pass. Here is everything we know about the Microsoft ZeniMax Media deal.
Microsoft now owns Bethesda Softworks, the video game publisher behind several high-profile franchises including Doom, Wolfenstein, Dishonored, and more. This comes right after the company got approval to complete its acquisition of ZeniMax Media, the parent company behind Bethesda. The software giant shared this just hours after regulatory authorities from the USA and EU approved the deal. For some context, the deal got approval from the European Commission (EC) and US Securities and Exchange (SEC).
Just days after the approval and announcement, Microsoft also shared some major announcements regarding the titles under Bethesda. The company conducted a Microsoft-Bethesda round-table live stream to share these new developments. According to the latest announcement, the company outlined that 20 Bethesda games are coming to the Xbox Game Pass on Friday, March 12, 2021. Here is everything we know about the Microsoft ZeniMax Media deal, new Bethesda titles on Xbox Game Pass, and more.
Microsoft owns Bethesda; details
The company shared details that it received the official EC approval on March 8 and SEC approval on March 4. As part of the deal, Microsoft also owns id Software, Arkane Studios, Alpha Dog Games, MachineGames, and more. Microsoft is likely to complete the deal in the second half of the financial year in 2021 which means June 30. This deal comes just weeks after EA announced its acquisition of Codemasters and Epic Games acquired Tonic Games Group.
Microsoft first shared the details around this acquisition back in September 2020. Looking at the financial aspect, the company paid about $7.5 Billion to acquire ZeniMax Media. Peter Hines, the Vice President of Bethesda noted that the game publisher will continue to operate independently. In addition, he also stated that one should not expect “landmark announcements or changes right now”. However, he did tease the arrival of Bethesda titles to Game Pass days before the official announcement.
20 Bethesda video games coming to Xbox Game Pass, some to get FPS Boost
As mentioned above, just days after the announcement, Microsoft shared some new details around ZeniMax Media. According to the latest announcement, the company is bringing 20 Bethesda video games to the Xbox Game Pass on Friday. The list of titles includes titles from popular video game franchises like Doom, Fallout, Dishonored, Wolfenstein, and The Elder Scrolls. 16 of the 20 titles will also land on xCloud in addition to Consoles and PC. This means that players will be able to play these games anywhere they want.
Microsoft also stated that some of these titles will receive the FPS Boost on Xbox Series X and Series S consoles. We already have seen this feature on titles like Far Cry 4 and New Super Lucky’s Tale. Microsoft is “already working” on this feature for Bethesda titles. FPS Boost increases the frame rate that a game offers with the help of the CPU and GPU present on the Xbox Series X and Series S. The company also shared a one-minute and 52 seconds long video teaser to go along with the announcement. One can find the complete list of supported Bethesda titles coming to Xbox Game Pass below:
Dishonored Definitive Edition (PC, Consoles, xCloud)
Dishonored 2 (PC, Consoles, xCloud)
DOOM (1993) (PC, Consoles, xCloud)
DOOM II (PC, Consoles, xCloud)
DOOM 3 (PC, Consoles, xCloud)
DOOM 64 (PC, Consoles, xCloud)
DOOM Eternal (PC, Consoles, xCloud)
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (PC, Consoles)
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (PC, Consoles)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition (PC, Consoles, xCloud)
The Elder Scrolls Online (Consoles, xCloud)
The Evil Within (PC, Consoles, xCloud)
Fallout 4 (PC, Consoles, xCloud)
Fallout 76 (PC, Consoles, xCloud)
Fallout: New Vegas (Consoles)
Prey (PC, Consoles, xCloud)
RAGE 2 (PC, Consoles, xCloud)
Wolfenstein: The New Order (PC, Consoles, xCloud)
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (PC, Consoles, xCloud)
Wolfenstein: Youngblood (PC, Consoles, xCloud)
The game of exclusive titles
Xbox head Phil Spencer re-iterated that Bethesda will focus on creating games “the way it always has” as Microsoft brings them to a wider audience. In addition, Spencer also stated that “some new titles” will be exclusive to Windows and Xbox. He went on to state, “If you're an Xbox customer, the thing I want you to know is this about delivering great exclusive games for you that ship on platforms where Game Pass exists. The creative capability we will be able to bring to market for Xbox customers is gonna be the best it's ever been for Xbox.” However, we are not sure about the fate of several important future Bethesda titles including Indiana Jones, Starfield, The Elder Scrolls VI, and more.