Microsoft acquiring Bethesda and ZeniMax Media.
Microsoft has made yet another major acquisition to bring under the Xbox brand, this time they acquired ZeniMax Media and its videogame publisher Bethesda Softworks. This will mean major series and titles like The Elder Scrolls, Doom, Wolfenstein, and Fallout are now controlled by Microsoft.
Microsoft will purchase ZeniMax Media and its subsidiaries for $7.5 Billion USD. This has dramatically increased the number of studios owned by Microsoft, from 15 to 23. Bethesda will add their titles to the Xbox Game Pass the same day that they are released for other consoles.
Speaking of other consoles, Microsoft has not commented on console exclusivity and games like Deathloop will still be Playstation exclusive.
So, what does this mean for VR gaming? Bethesda has been consistently releasing VR ports of their games and new releases exclusively for VR. There is no reason to assume that these older VR titles like Skyrim VR or Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot will be removed from other platforms at this time.
The unfortunate issue with the acquisition is that Microsoft has no plans for VR on the Xbox. They are busy working on their mixed reality Holo Lens but there are no VR games on the Xbox. This could mean that Bethesda may stop or slow down production of other VR titles.
This won’t happen quickly. The acquisition process is often a slow one and Microsoft has said that they expect to complete the acquisition by the second half of 2021. We may still see some VR games released for the PS5. Pete Hines, SVP of PR and Marketing for Bethesda, said that, “We’re still working on the same games we were yesterday, made by the same studios we’ve worked with for years, and those games will be published by us.”