Yesterday, Microsoft got some good news, as the European Commission signed off on its proposed merger with ZeniMax Media. With that approval, Microsoft’s buyout of ZeniMax is all but finalized, so we’ll soon be living in a world where the developers behind games such as The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, DOOM, and Wolfenstein are part of Xbox Game Studios.
With the deal nearing completion, Xbox chief Phil Spencer took to the Xbox blog today to welcome ZeniMax and its subsidiaries into the fold. There wasn’t a ton of new information in that blog post, but there was one key passage that’s likely to get a lot of attention, as Spencer revealed that some ZeniMax games will indeed be exclusive to Xbox and PC.
“This is the next step in building an industry-leading first party studios team, a commitment we have to our Xbox community. With the addition of the Bethesda creative teams, gamers should know that Xbox consoles, PC, and Game Pass will be the best place to experience new Bethesda games, including some new titles in the future that will be exclusive to Xbox and PC players.”
Obviously, many of us expected that Microsoft would make at least some ZeniMax games exclusive to its platforms, but up to this point, the only thing Microsoft has said is that it would work out exclusivity on a case-by-case basis. Microsoft clearly sees the acquisition of ZeniMax as a way to build out Xbox Game Pass and perhaps even to sell Xbox Series X|S consoles, but the big question is how far is the company going to go in pursuit of that.
For instance, can we expect The Elder Scrolls and Fallout games to be exclusive to Xbox and PC? That would definitely make a lot of PlayStation owners upset, but if Microsoft is looking to drive console sales, that’s a good way to do it. Of course, those who don’t own an Xbox or a gaming PC are probably hoping it’s only ZeniMax’s smaller titles that become exclusives, but we’ll just have to wait and see what Microsoft decides in the future. In any case, Microsoft says that it will be bringing more Bethesda games to Game Pass later this week, so we’ll let you know when more is announced on that front.