The European Commission has approved Microsoft’s $7.5 billion deal to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, one of the largest, privately held game developers and publishers in the world.
According to the EU, the deal “does not raise serious doubts as to its compatibility with the common market.”
Microsoft originally announced its plans to acquire Bethesda in September.
Creators of critically acclaimed and best-selling gaming franchises, including The Elder Scrolls and Fallout, among many others, Bethesda brings an impressive portfolio of games, technology, talent, as well as a track record of blockbuster commercial success, to Xbox.
According to The Verge, Microsoft appears to be planning to keep Bethesda running separately, with its existing leadership.
Games are fuelling new cloud-gaming services like Xbox Game Pass, which has reached a new milestone of over 15 million subscribers.
“Gaming is the most expansive category in the entertainment industry, as people everywhere turn to gaming to connect, socialise and play with their friends,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella had said in a statement in September.
“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,” he added.
With the addition of Bethesda, Microsoft will grow from 15 to 23 creative studio teams and will be adding Bethesda’s franchises to Xbox Game Pass.
This includes Microsoft’s intent to bring Bethesda’s future games into Xbox Game Pass the same day they launch on Xbox or PC, like Starfield, the highly anticipated, new space epic currently in development by Bethesda Game Studios.
The planned acquisition includes publishing offices and development studios spanning 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 parent company ZeniMax Media was founded in 1999 by Chairman and CEO Robert Altman.