After many months of waiting for regulatory approval, it looks like Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax Media is coming to fruition.
Last week the US Securities and Exchange Commission cleared Microsoft’s registration of the deal while the European Union quietly approved the acquisition in a mammoth press release.
“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 transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure,” the European Commission wrote.
There are still a few details to iron out but the acquisition appears to be moving forward.
So much so that Engadget has reported that we might hear more about Microsoft’s plans for ZeniMax Media later this week.
Thursday, to be precise but we should caution that this is no more than a rumour at this stage.
The publication reports that Microsoft will announce that a number of Bethesda games are headed to Game Pass.
The keen eyed will notice that there are a few titles from the ZeniMax stable available through Game Pass, namely Fallout 76, Dishonored 2 and DOOM Eternal, but we’re hopeful that this supposed announcement will bring more titles to the game subscription service.
There’s also the matter of exclusivity now that ZeniMax is owned by a company with its own console.
We have heard in the past that Microsoft will allow Bethesda to honour exclusivity agreements for Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo on the PlayStation 5, but it’s unclear whether this is still the case. Beyond planned exclusives, we’re curious to see if Microsoft makes any moves to launch games exclusively for Xbox and PC, leaving Sony out in the rain.
Microsoft was in desperate need of exclusive titles during the previous generation of Xbox consoles and now that it has an army of studios at its beck and call, perhaps it can crank out a winner that isn’t obsessed with the Halo universe.
As for titles currently being developed, we very much doubt we’ll hear from Microsoft about those during this rumoured announcement but we wouldn’t say no to an update for Elder Scrolls VI and Starfield.
If you want to know about the announcement as soon as possible we recommend following the official Xbox account on Twitter here.
Perhaps Microsoft will scrap Fallout 1st. On second thought, it’d sooner rain fire and brimstone than that happening.