It's official: Microsoft owns Bethesda, 'some' future games will be exclusive

Fallout 76
(Image credit: Bethesda)

After getting the approval of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and the European Union Commission, Microsoft has officially announced that the acquisition of ZeniMax Media, owner of Bethesda, is complete.

Xbox head Phil Spencer welcomed the eight studios under ZeniMax—id Software, Bethesda, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog and Roundhouse Studios—in a blog post for Xbox, saying that it was "an honor" to have them join the team.

Spencer touched on what the acquisition meant for both Microsoft and Bethesda, saying that the aim is "to give these teams the best foundation for doing their greatest work and to learn from them as we continue to build Xbox into an inclusive platform for all players." He also stressed that it was "vitally important that Bethesda continues making games the way it always has," and said Xbox wants to help "make future Bethesda titles the biggest and most popular games in their history."

As expected, Bethesda's inclusion on Game Pass and future exclusives was also confirmed, saying "gamers should know that Xbox consoles, PC, and Game Pass will be the best place to experience new Bethesda games, including some new titles in the future that will be exclusive to Xbox and PC players." It was also announced that more Bethesda games will be coming to Xbox Game Pass "later this week," along with more news to share about what's next later in the year.

The blog post was rounded out by a tribute to ZeniMax Media founder Robert A. Altman, who died earlier this year. Spencer called Altman a "close friend" who "believed deeply in the power of gaming." He also said he "will miss the opportunity to work directly with him," but added "I know that his spirit will live on in the shared work we do and motivate us to make this partnership all he envisioned."

Mollie Taylor
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.