The number of Microsoft game development studios has increased to 23. Microsoft was approved the acquisition of Bethesda by EU.
The European Commission has officially approved Microsoft’s $7.5 billion deal to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of the Bethesda Softworks studio known for titles like DOOM and Fallout. This deal was approved by the EU without any further conditions.
The statement of the European Commission said: “The Commission concludes that this acquisition will not cause concerns about competition issues. Due to the position of the acquiring company and the presence of strong competitors in the distribution of video games”.
After the deal is completed, the list of Microsoft game development studios will increase to 23. Bethesda Softworks also owns some well-known sub-studios such as Arkane (game Dishonored), MachineGames (game Wolfenstein), id Software (game DOOM) and Tango Gameworks (game The Evil Within).
Microsoft appears to have plans to let Bethesda operate independently with its current CEO. This is also a strategy that has worked well with the acquisitions of Mojang, LinkedIn and GitHub. All operate independently after the acquisition by Microsoft.
With Microsoft acquiring a prominent game studio like Bethesda, many fear that Bethesda titles will be released exclusively on Xbox. However, Bethesda going to operate completely independently, that is very unlikely. Bethesda’s future plans such as exclusive release of Deathloop and GhostWire: Tokyo titles for Sony’s PS5 will remain intact.
In fact, Microsoft will be more interested in its Xbox Game Pass online service. Most likely, Bethesda games will be available on Xbox Game Pass on the first day to attract more users to sign up, instead of being exclusive to Microsoft’s Xbox systems.
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