Microsoft + Bethesda merger complete: Here’s what’s next for both companies

microsoft bethesda merger

It was last September, right around the Series X pre-order launch, when Microsoft announced its $7.5 billion purchase of Bethesda, the game studio behind Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, DOOM, and many other fan-favorite games. Well, the merger is finally official, with both the EU and the US approving the merger. With that, we now have a few more details as to what this means for both companies, as well as how this could affect upcoming Bethesda releases. So without further ado, let’s dive into everything the Microsoft Bethesda merger will hold.

Some future Bethesda titles will be Xbox and PC exclusive, but maybe not all?

When the merger was first announced, many were worried that all future Bethesda launches, including the upcoming Elder Scrolls 6, would be exclusive to PC and Xbox. While we don’t know for sure what’s coming, we do know that Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox at Microsoft, said that “…some new titles in the future… will be exclusive to Xbox and PC players” in the company’s latest blog post.

While this doesn’t state that every future title will be exclusive to a Microsoft-owned platform, we can expect there to at least be a few titles that aren’t available on Sony or Nintendo devices. Hopefully in the coming months we’ll have more insight as to what titles will be exclusive, and what will remain cross-platform.

More Bethesda titles will be coming to Game Pass, and that’s a good thing

Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription is by far the best value in gaming today… and we’ve already gone over that at length. You can play Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Elder Scrolls Online, as well as Doom Eternal on Game Pass, but that won’t be the end of Bethesda games included in the service. Likely, as with first-party Microsoft titles currently, we will see Bethesda games released day one on Game Pass once the titles hit the shelves, which is something that I am very much looking forward to.

Similar to exclusives, all we know here is that “with the addition of the Bethesda creatives teams, gamers should know that Xbox consoles, PC, and Game Pass will be the best place to experience new Bethesda games…” This leads us to believe that most future Bethesda games will come to Game Pass, but we’ll have to wait for more details to confirm this.

While Microsoft now owns Bethesda, the development studio will still operate as its own independent company

Sure, Microsoft now owns Bethesda, but outside of a few exclusives, that likely isn’t changing a whole lot… yet. Pete Hines from Bethesda said this on the merger, “…let me say that we’re not making any landmark announcements or changes right now.”

So, if that’s the case, what does the merger mean for both companies? Well, the biggest thing is that Bethesda will now be working on Microsoft’s bank account instead of its own, which will give them “…more support and resources than we’ve ever had before” according to Pete. This is just the beginning though, as Pete’s blog post says that beyond getting more games into Game Pass than ever before, “…we’re just getting started together” alluding to much more in the coming months and years ahead.

9to5Toys’ Take

I’m excited about the Microsoft and Bethesda merger. The Elder Scrolls has been one of my favorite series of all time in gaming, and is really the title that got me into playing games on a PC instead of console. So, the fact that Microsoft, the company behind the most powerful console ever (which happens to sit on my desk), now owns the development studio behind one of my favorite games of all time… well, let’s just say I’m pretty happy.

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