It’s been in the works for a minute, but as of yesterday it’s official: Xbox has officially acquired ZeniMax Media, and thereby eight “incredibly talented development studios” — id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Roundhouse Studios, Alpha Dog, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, and Bethesda Game Studios.
In a post on Xbox Wire, Xbox head Phil Spencer outlined the roadmap “now that everything is official”.
“This is the next step in building an industry-leading first-party studios team, a commitment we have to our Xbox community. With the addition of the Bethesda creative teams, 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,” said Spencer.
Bethesda and Xbox, BFFs
We've always been fans, but now we're family.
— Xbox South Africa (@XboxZA) March 9, 2021
Spencer announced that while we have to wait for more news on what’s planned later this year, for now, in celebration, several Bethesda games would be added to Games Pass later this week. It has been made official that some new titles from the acquired studios will release exclusively to Xbox and PC players.
Which begs the question: which titles? It’s hard to imagine something like an Elder Scrolls or Fallout releasing as an exclusive on one platform, but might we see something like a Doom or Dishonored launching on Microsoft platforms only? Time will tell.
Spencer also wants to assure Bethesda fans that the studio would be allowed to create games as they always had, with no intervention. Whether that’s a good or bad thing depends on your thoughts on Fallout 4 and 76.
It’s a powerful move, one that might sway those on the fence about what console and platform they want to buy into. Maybe even strong enough to warrant switching over, if you’re the type to believe in sides.