Microsoft Strengthens Gaming Unit with $7.5 Billion Zenimax Acquisition
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has moved on after suffering a big blow on its bid to acquire the Chinese viral video-sharing app TikTok. The software giant has moved to strengthen its gaming empire by acquiring ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion. With the acquisition, the software giant is poised to expand its list of game development studios.
The $7.5 billion transaction is 3 times the $2.5 billion that the company paid to acquire Mojang and Minecraft in 2014. It underscores how willing and ready the company is at strengthening its video gaming division, which is under immense pressure amid spiraling competition.
ZeniMax joins Microsoft with several industry-leading game developers such as Bethesda Game Studios, the maker of Fallout games, and fantasy series The Elder Scrolls. Microsoft will also gain access to id Software Tango Gameworld and Zenimax Online Studios.
The integration will see Microsoft’s Xbox game development studios expanded to 23 from 15 with control over some of the biggest franchises in the gaming industry. Bethesda senior vice president of global marketing Pete Hines expects the Microsoft partnership to result in highly needed resources that will make Bethesda a better publisher and developer.
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The acquisition of Zenimax comes weeks ahead of the launch of a new slate of video game consoles as part of the Microsoft refresh cycle. The tech giant is planning to unveil a $500 Xbox Series X and a $300 Xbox Series Is expected to strengthen the company’s gaming empire while offering gamers sharper visuals and faster gameplay.
The unveiling of the new Xbox gaming consoles will allow Microsoft to compete against Sony Corp (NYSE: SNE)’s $500 Play Station 5 and $4000 PlayStation 5 digital. With Zenimax in the Mix, Microsoft will now be able to release more gaming titles to compete for industry-leading titles of the likes of Marcels Spider-Man Miles Morales. In future, Microsoft is to add Bethesda franchises to Xbox Game Pass for console and PC.