On Monday, September 21st, 2020 it was announced that the Microsoft Corporation will be acquiring ZeniMax Media and it’s game development studios for $7.5 billion. This is the second largest video game acquisition in history, the largest in the United States, and easily the largest Microsoft has ever made.
The main attraction of this purchase is Bethesda, a video game production and publishing studio located in Rockville, Maryland. Bethesda has been successful in being one of the best, highest praised, and most well renowned game development studios in the industry. And with the new generation of Xbox consoles coming in just a couple of months, acquiring such a consistently lucrative studio was certainly a bold move.
With the new era of video games right around the corner, Microsoft decisively controlling a large section of the industry might come as no surprise. Intentionally conglomerating might be the best move to ensure Microsoft stays ahead of competition such as Sony. But what will this maneuver mean for the consumer? It’s unknown yet how much of a change this will mean for games developed by Bethesda, or id Software. It might be assumed that nothing will change, but ex-co-founder of id Software, John Carmack, tweeted after the acquisition “Great! I think Microsoft has been a good parent company for gaming IPs, and they don’t have a grudge against me, so maybe I will be able to re engage with some of my old titles.” Whether Carmack is in a position to actually speak on his ability to reinvolve himself with id Software is unknown, and it’s completely unknown what kind of changes will occur in such a popular set of video game development studios in the coming years. Nonetheless, the next generation of this booming media industry is doing nothing but heat up.