Microsoft’s Activison Blizzard Acquisition: The Complete Timeline of the News So Far
Microsoft announced its intent to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, for $7.5 billion on Monday, September 21st. The move gives Microsoft ownership of some of the most acclaimed game studios in the world, including Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, Arkane Studios, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios. The acquisition is the latest in a string of high-profile acquisitions by Microsoft, which has also bought Mojang (makers of Minecraft), Ninja Theory (Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice), Playground Games (Forza Horizon), Double Fine Productions (Psychonauts), and Obsidian Entertainment (The Outer Worlds) in recent years.
The news of the acquisition came as a surprise to many in the industry, as it was announced just days before the launch of the highly anticipated Bethesda game, Deathloop. The timing of the announcement led many to speculate that Microsoft was attempting to scoop up Bethesda before the game’s launch, in order to avoid any potential issues that could arise from the acquisition.
Microsoft has stated that it has no plans to change the way Bethesda operates, and that the studio will continue to make the same kind of games it has always made. However, some have speculated that Microsoft may force Bethesda to make its games exclusive to Microsoft platforms, such as the Xbox Series X/S and Windows 10, in order to boost sales of those products.
It remains to be seen what effect Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda will have on the video game industry, but one thing is for sure: the gaming world will never be the same.