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

Fallout 76
(Image credit: Bethesda)
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After getting the approval (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), 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."

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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. (opens in new tab) 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
Mollie Taylor

A fresh writer in the industry, Mollie has been taken under PC Gamer's RGB-laden wing, making sure she doesn't get up to too much mischief on the site. She's not quite sure what a Command & Conquer is, but she can rattle on for hours about all the obscure rhythm games and strange MMOs from the 2000s. She's been cooking up all manner of news, previews and features while she's been here, but especially enjoys when she gets to write about Final Fantasy, Persona, The Sims, and whatever other game she's currently hopelessly fixated on. There's a good chance she's boring another PC Gamer writer about her latest obsession as we speak.