Microsoft’s $7.5 billion takeover of ZeniMax has been cleared by regulators.

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Microsoft will shortly be entirely owned by Bethesda

If there are no last-minute obstacles, Microsoft will formally own ZeniMax and all of its branches in the very near future. Last year, Microsoft announced its intention to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of renowned game maker Bethesda. The offer would have been worth around $7.5 billion if it had been accepted by global regulators, and that approval has finally passed today.

Neither the SEC nor the European Commission has added any conditions or limitations to the agreement—at least none of them. Microsoft claims to have done everything in the book, and the scale of the merger is unlikely to be large enough to set any regulatory red flags.

For buyers, the effect of this merger will quickly be felt: more and more Bethesda games will come to the Xbox Game Pass, for one, and the company’s upcoming releases could be Xbox (and PC) exclusives.

We’re not rooting in that outcome by any stretch, but it’s a strong possibility, particularly considering the strong exclusive titles Sony has been pumping out lately.


Microsoft has been fairly consumer-friendly in this age of consoles—and at the tail end of the last gene—so we expect that it will continue despite its increasing dominance over the AAA side of the market. Either way, we’re all going to have to watch to see what happens. If there are any other interesting news items about the Microsoft-ZeniMax contract, we’ll be sure to let you know.

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