Microsoft announced on Monday that it plans to acquire ZeniMax Media, owner of the video-game publisher Bethesda Softworks, for $7.5 billion in cash -- marking its biggest video game purchase ever.
“I’ve had many deep conversations with the creative leaders at Bethesda on the future of gaming and we’ve long shared similar visions for the opportunities for creators and their games to reach more players in more ways,” Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, wrote in a bog post.
Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios are the teams responsible for franchises like Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, DOOM, Dishonored, Prey, Quake, Starfield and more.
Microsoft’s next generation of the Xbox consoles is scheduled to launch in November.
Gaming advertising revenue is expected to climb to $4.04 billion in the United States in 2021, up from $3.61 billion in 2020, according to eMarketer.
While Microsoft might be leaning on game subscription services to grow its revenue in gaming, in-game advertising has become more of an option.
Microsoft’s Game Pass subscription service now has 15 million subscribers, up from the 10 million announced in April.
The company expects the acquisition will close in the second half of fiscal-year 2021 and that it will have a minimal impact on non-GAAP operating income in fiscal years 2021 and 2022.