The Xbox creator will pay $7.5 billion in cash to acquire ZeniMax. However, the deal is not expected to close until the second half of the 2021 fiscal year and is subject to closing conditions and the completion of regulatory review.
"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. The big winners today are our fans. We are continuing to develop our slate of AAA games, but now with Microsoft's scale and entire Game Stack, our games can only get better," said ZeniMax Media CEO and founder Robert A Altman.
Players around the world will know Bethesda for various franchises such as The Elder Scrolls and Fallout. The latter of these includes Fallout Shelter on mobile, the free-to-play simulator that has accumulated $100 million in revenue as of June 2019.
An established force
"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.
"Quality differentiated content is the engine behind the growth and value of Xbox Game Pass—from Minecraft to Flight Simulator. 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 executive vice president for gaming Phil Spencer added: "This is an awesome time to be an Xbox fan. In the last 10 days alone, we've released details on our two new consoles which go on pre-order tomorrow, launched cloud gaming in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and now we're making another investment in the most critical part of our strategy: the games. Generations of gamers have been captivated by the renowned franchises in the Bethesda portfolio and will continue to be so for years to come as part of Xbox."