Microsoft's $7.5 Billion Acquisition Of Bethesda Approved By EU
Featured Image Credit: Bethesda
It's a wrap, people - the acquisition of Bethesda's parent company by Microsoft has been approved by the European Union, and so the legal teams on either side are able to dot the "i"s and cross the "t"s and finalise the agreement.
"The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, given the combined entity's limited market position upstream and the presence of strong downstream competitors in the distribution of video games," read a statement from the European Commission. "The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure." Furthermore, the agreement has been approved without conditions because the arrangement "does not raise serious doubts as to its compatibility with the common market." Thrilling stuff, this. What does it mean for these two big shots and the video game industry as a whole?
Announced in September, Microsoft said that it would be parting with $7.5 billion to bring ZeniMax Media into its fold of subsidiaries. ZeniMax Media owns Bethesda, and Bethesda owns id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios. Resultantly, in one fell swoop, titles like DOOM, Dishonored, Wolfenstein, The Evil Within, Wraithborne, and Rune were to be integrated into Microsoft's portfolio of intellectual properties. "Over the years I've had many deep conversations with the creative leaders at Bethesda on the future of gaming," said Phil Spencer at the time. "We've long shared similar visions for the opportunities for creators and their games to reach more players in more ways."
It was a stunning move, and no one was more stunned than those involved. Console exclusives like Deathloop and GhostWire: Tokyo were confirmed to honour their existing arrangements with Sony but the question of whether or not The Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield would be multiplatform hovered in the mist. Fortunately, Xbox CFO Tim Stuart illuminated the confusion in a conference. "What we'll do in the long run is we don't have intentions of just pulling all of Bethesda content out of Sony or Nintendo or otherwise," said Stuart last year. "But I suspect you'll continue to see us shift towards a first or better or best approach on our platforms."