Microsoft’s ZeniMax Media Acquisition Was A “Surprisingly Low Price,” Claims Analyst

Sep 21, 2020 16:49 EDT
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The biggest gaming news to drop today on the eve of Microsoft’s pre-orders for the Xbox Series X is that Microsoft Game Studios will acquire ZeniMax Media. The acquisition of the private game publisher, known most famously as the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, marks Microsoft’s largest acquisition to date.

That $7.5 billion price tag places ZeniMax somewhere around the value of the ubiquitous Ubisoft. However, that acquisition isn’t just for Bethesda Softworks alone. This also includes Arkane Studios (Prey, Dishonored), Tango Gameworks (The Evil Within, GhostWire: Tokyo), and ZeniMax Online Studios (The Elder Scrolls Online).

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According to DFC Intelligence, this significant acquisition will help bolster its game business and help Microsoft regain a leadership position in the industry. While the $7.5 billion price tag seems steep for ZeniMax Media, DFC notes that this is a “surprisingly low price.”

The company has a wide range of classic IP that has significant long-term potential. However, Bethesda Softworks had been struggling with some poorly received releases such as Fallout 76.

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Overall the acquisition is further signs that while Xbox hardware can not compete with the PlayStation brand in the short term, Microsoft is better equipped to focus on a long-term vision. Bethesda adds a large library of titles for both Game Pass and cloud streaming services across both Xbox and PC.

Key Bethesda franchises include the Fallout and Elder Scrolls RPG series. These are games that do well on both console and PC and include major online components. These two franchises alone may be worth the purchase price.

Bethesda Softworks has two PlayStation 5-exclusives in the works with Ghostwire: Tokyo and Deathloop but what comes next is a mystery to both analysts and journalists alike. Elder Scrolls VI and Starfield are among Bethesda’s most anticipated upcoming titles and the acquisition by Microsoft ensures that both of these titles should be available on Xbox Game Pass, giving the console manufacturer a significant edge in the next-gen console war.

We don’t expect to hear either of these ZeniMax Media titles have their development plans changed to become Xbox-exclusive, however gamers should anticipate having to choose between having the title available day one on Xbox Game Pass or available at full retail price (which shows all indication of jumping to $69.99 by the time The Elder Scrolls VI releases) on competing platforms such as the PlayStation 5.

Products mentioned in this post

Elder Scrolls Online
Elder Scrolls Online
USD 59.99

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