Microsoft is pushing its gaming business forward as it plans to acquire Rockville, Maryland-based ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion in cash.
Founded in 1999, ZeniMax Media is a video game holding company and the parent company of Bethesda, Maryland-based Bethesda Softworks, a large game developer and publisher. This acquisition will expand Microsoft from 15 to 23 creative studio teams and allow it to eventually add Bethesda’s franchise of games to new cloud-gaming service Xbox Game Pass. ZeniMax Media is the company behind popular games like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, DOOM, Quake, Wolfenstein and Dishonored.
“Gaming is the most expansive category in the entertainment industry, as people everywhere turn to gaming to connect, socialize and play with their friends,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a statement. “As a proven game developer and publisher, Bethesda has seen success across every category of games, and together, we will further our ambition to empower the more than three billion gamers worldwide.”
Microsoft will acquire all of ZeniMax Media’s 2,300-plus employees across its publishing offices and development studios while the media company’s leadership team will remain in place. ZeniMax Media Chairman and CEO Robert A. Altman said the company is working on developing a slate of games under Microsoft’s umbrella. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021. Phil Spencer, EVP of gaming at Microsoft, shared more details about adding the media company’s portfolio of games to Xbox in this blog post.
“This is a thrilling day for this company, our employees, and our fans. We have enjoyed a close partnership with Microsoft for decades, and this deal is a natural progression of those years working together,” Altman said in a press release.
In recognition of National Voter Registration Day, check out this partnership ZeniMax Media recently launched with NerdsVote to encourage gamers to register.
We’re excited to support our friends at @nerdsvote and their non-partisan mission of getting gamers registered to vote. Register today and have your voice heard.
— Bethesda (@bethesda) September 1, 2020
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