The European Union has approved the Microsoft acquisition of Zenimax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks [via The Verge].
The deal was approved by the EU on the 5th March 2021 and is unconditional. According to the EU, the move “does not raise serious doubts as to its compatibility within the common market”. The EU’s approval means that the process is almost complete, meaning Bethesda games can be launched on the Xbox platform exclusively.
Microsoft’s first-party library is set to increase by 23 titles, with the likes of The Elder Scrolls, DOOM and Wolfenstein joining the Xbox’s lineup. The future of these franchises has been uncertain on other platforms since the deal was announced, but Microsoft has said PlayStation exclusive games like Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo will come to the PS5 as planned. However, according to Microsoft’s Phil Spencer, future games are set to be made exclusive to the Xbox platform on a “case-by-case” basis [via Bloomberg].
Bethesda’s tentative future on the PS5 and Nintendo Switch is also set to be clarified by Microsoft. Earlier this month, Gamesbeat’s Jeff Grubb revealed that more information would be provided about Bethesda in the coming weeks. While this announcement isn’t set to be anything fancy, it will hopefully clear up some of the ambiguity surrounding what games will be exclusive to the Xbox.
There’s nothing to suggest that Microsoft will make every Bethesda game an Xbox exclusive just yet. However, the company is bringing Bethesda’s collective to Xbox Game Pass, which might affect sales of older games on the likes of Steam.
The decision might also draw more players to the Xbox Game Pass experience since the monthly subscription guarantees players access to Bethesda’s legacy.
Xbox Game Pass hasn’t been updated just yet, but it’s set to get an injection of Bethesda gaming goodness sometime soon.
Are you pleased to see the Microsoft and Bethesda deal reach the next stage?
Featured Image Credit: Microsoft/Bethesda