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EU gives Microsoft’s Bethesda acquisition the thumbs up

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Fallout - Bethesda
Xbox / Bethesda

Microsoft gets one step closer to acquiring Bethesda, and some of the biggest franchises in gaming.

The European Commission has approved Microsoft’s $7.5 billion merger deal with ZeniMax Media. ZeniMax is the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, meaning the likes of Doom and Dishonored come under the acquisition’s umbrella.

Six months after the merger’s announcement, Microsoft is edging its way towards a finalised deal, bringing some massive studio names onboard to team Xbox. Machine Games of Wolfenstein, Arkane of Dishonored, and Bethesda Game Studios of Fallout and Skyrim fame are among those joining Microsoft.

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In the report, the European Commission states that:

“The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, given the combined entity’s limited market position upstream and the presence of strong downstream competitors in the distribution of video games.”

The deal leaves the exclusivity of franchises such as Prey, The Evil Within, and the upcoming Starfield into question, with Microsoft remaining quiet on any hard details on the matter.

Microsoft will be eager to finalise the deal as they potentially launch themselves into the exclusive games ring – a space that Sony has dominated for years.  If a future Fallout title were to release exclusively on Xbox (as well as PC) Microsoft could finally have the system-selling titles that could rub shoulders with the likes of God of War and The Last of Us.

Todd Howard, director at Bethesda Game Studios, previously stated that he found it “hard to imagine” The Elder Scrolls VI arriving exclusively on Xbox, and Microsoft has commented that their platform availability will work on a “case-by-case”.

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Until any confirmation is made, players across all platforms will have to await news on the future of their favourite ZeniMax and Bethesda franchises.


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The most passionate casual gamer about, Aaron is a filmmaking graduate, Premiere Pro aficionado, and film and gaming journalist hailing from the windy realms of Scotland. He loves to split his time between writing articles, hosting his film podcast, producing some top-notch video content and building up a backlog of games he’ll probably never complete.