Microsoft Buys ZeniMax Media, Game Publisher Bethesda Softworks

Microsoft Corporation MSFT has announced its plan to acquire video gaming company ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion in cash.

ZeniMax Media creates and publishes interactive entertainment content for consoles, PCs and wireless devices. ZeniMax Media is also the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, the creators of the gaming franchises "Elder Scrolls" and "Fallout."

The acquisition will include publishing offices and development studios around the globe with over 2,300 employees, including Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios. Bethesda's structure and leadership will remain in place.

"Gaming is the most expansive category in the entertainment industry, as people everywhere turn to gaming to connect, socialize and play with their friends," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. "Quality differentiated content is the engine behind the growth and value of Xbox Game Pass—from Minecraft to Flight Simulator. As a proven game developer and publisher, Bethesda has seen success across every category of games, and together, we will further our ambition to empower the more than three billion gamers worldwide."

Microsoft expects the acquisition to be completed in the second half of the fiscal year 2021 and to have minimal impact to non-GAAP operating income in fiscal years 2021 and 2022.

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