Microsoft forms new subsidiary 'Vault' to handle its ZeniMax acquisition

Fallout 76
(Image credit: Bethesda)

In preparation for its $7.5bn acquisition of Fallout owner ZeniMax, Microsoft has created a new subsidiary handily named "Vault".

As spotted by Eurogamer, a European Commission filing revealed that Microsoft intends to absorb ZeniMax by way of a merger with the newly-formed subsidiary. The document itself is an invitation to interested parties to comment on or challenge the acquisition by February 15th—though at this stage the deal is all but sealed.

Obviously, calling the subsidiary Vault is a cheeky wink to Fallout. But the ZeniMax acquisition also grants Microsoft ownership of everything from The Elder Scrolls and Doom to Starfield. I suppose "Dragonborn" or "Slayer" don't make for quite as catchy corporate names, eh? 

"The concentration is accomplished by way of a merger pursuant to which a newly created Microsoft subsidiary (‘Vault’) will be merged with and into ZeniMax," the filing reads.

While Microsoft now holds ownership of ZeniMax's staggering line-up of blockbuster RPGs and shooters, it doesn't plan to make them Xbox-exclusives for the time being. It does, however, mean that future Bethesda games will be on Xbox Game Pass from day one, with Microsoft claiming they want the studio's games to be "first or better or best on our platforms".

Corporate consolidation is rarely a good thing, but it does seem like Microsoft isn't planning to just lock these franchises away in their shiny new vault. I'm not sure where we'd rank a bunker full of abandoned game IP in our list of Fallout's best and worst Vaults. Probably just under the one with the plant zombies, I reckon.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.