What Microsoft’s $7.5B purchase of Bethesda parent ZeniMax means for Xbox Series X

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Microsoft’s making more investments in its Xbox gaming franchise.


James Martin/CNET

Microsoft’s Xbox team significantly expanded its list of game development studios on Monday, announcing the purchase of ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion in cash. The entertainment company owns several industry-leading game developers, including Bethesda Softworks, the maker of the post-apocalyptic Fallout games and the fantasy series The Elder Scrolls. It also owns Id Software, known for its Doom, Rage and Wolfenstein shooting game franchises.

The move grows the number of in-house Xbox game development studios to 23, up from 15 earlier, giving it control of some of the game industry’s most popular franchises. Microsoft also plans to run Bethesda as its own division, with leadership and structure intact. 

“As a proven game developer and publisher, Bethesda has

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