EU approves $ 7.5 billion acquisition of Bethesda from Microsoft

The European Commission has approved Microsoft’s $ 7.5 billion deal to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Condemn Y Fall out Bethesda Softworks studio. The Microsoft agreement has been approved by the EU without conditions, as it “does not raise serious doubts about its compatibility with the common market. The acquisition required EU approval before Microsoft could finalize the deal with Bethesda and bring future games to its Xbox Game Pass subscription.

“The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, given the combined entity’s limited market position upstream and the presence of strong downstream competitors in video game distribution,” says a European Commission statement. . “The transaction was reviewed under the normal merger review procedure.”

Once the deal is fully closed, Microsoft’s own studio list will grow to 23, following the addition of Bethesda substudies like Dishonor developer Arkane, Wolfenstein MachineGames studio Condemn Manufacturer identification software, and The evil inside Tango Gameworks studio. Microsoft appears to be planning to keep Bethesda running separately, with its current leadership. That approach appears to have worked for Mojang, LinkedIn, and GitHub, which continued to run separately after Microsoft acquired them.

Microsoft originally announced its plans to acquire Bethesda in September, promising to honor PS5 exclusivity commitments for Deathloop Y GhostWire: Tokyo. Games like The Elder Scrolls: Online it also “will continue to receive support as it was.”

How Microsoft handles future Bethesda titles will depend on a “case-by-case” basis, according to comments from Microsoft’s head of gaming Phil Spencer in September. It’s still unclear how Microsoft plans to handle the next space epic. Starfield.

Microsoft may not even have to release future Bethesda games exclusively on Xbox. Just having them on day one on Xbox Game Pass could be a big enough draw for gamers to sign up for. Xbox gaming chief Phil Spencer has also questioned the feasibility of gaming exclusivity deals recently, and Microsoft’s plans for Xbox are heavily focused on Xbox Game Pass and xCloud game streaming to reach millions of people. plus.

In fact, Microsoft is reportedly planning to outline its plans for Xbox later this month. A “future of gaming” event is rumored to take place on March 23, and it could be an ideal opportunity for Microsoft to discuss the future of Bethesda, xCloud on iOS, and their plans for Xbox Game Pass.

Update, March 8 at 6:40 am ET: Article updated with full statement from the European Commission.

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