Microsoft acquires Bethesda, gains exclusivity over Fallout and Elder Scrolls

Microsoft has acquired Bethesda in a move that will grant the Xbox brand exclusive access to series such as FalloutThe Elder ScrollsDoom, and more. The acquisition sees Bethesda joining the “Microsoft family,” with the company gaining ownership of the studio’s vast library of games.

The shock announcement was made today in statements released by Head of Xbox Phil Spencer and Bethesda’s VP of PR & Marketing Pete Hines. Both companies have cited Microsoft’s resources as being a driving force behind the acquisition, with Bethesda stating that it will allow the studio to “make even better games going forward.”

What does this mean for Fallout and Elder Scrolls?

This deal means that Bethesda will become a first-party Microsoft studio, and will be able to release its games exclusively for Xbox services across consoles such as the Xbox Series X and S, along with PC. As such, future entries in series such as Fallout and Elder Scrolls can launch as exclusives on these platforms, and will also be available to play on Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service.

“Our companies share many of the same basic principles,” wrote Hines in his statement. “We believe in a culture that values passion, quality, collaboration, and innovation. When I think back to the first time we decided to shift from being a PC-only developer and make Morrowind for the original Xbox, it was a move that countless people said would never work…nobody on consoles wanted a game that big and complex. But Microsoft believed in us and so did you. And now RPGs of all shapes and sizes are hugely successful on consoles.”

Phil Spencer confirmed that Bethesda’s library of games both past and future will be available via Xbox Game Pass. “One of the things that has me most excited is seeing the roadmap with Bethesda’s future games, some announced and many unannounced, to Xbox console and PC including Starfield, the highly anticipated, new space epic currently in development by Bethesda Game Studios,” he wrote in Xbox’s statement.

This is a huge acquisition for Microsoft and a major blow to Sony’s PS5. With Bethesda developing some of the most popular game series around, Microsoft is now able to promote these franchises as part of Game Pass, providing another incentive to sign up for its already mighty subscription service. As pre-orders for the Xbox Series X and S go live this week, Microsoft just brokered one of the biggest deals in the gaming industry’s history.