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Microsoft acquires Doom-owner ZeniMax for $7.5 billion

Microsoft said it plans to bring Bethesda's future games into its monthly Xbox Game Pass subscription service

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The Microsoft store is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., June 26, 2020. Photo: Reuters/Carlo Allegri
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  • Gaming is on a tear due to demand from stuck-at-home users during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • And Microsoft has put its faith in offering users many ways to play via its cloud service and consoles at different price points;
  • The company’s game pass now has more than 15 million subscribers

Microsoft said on Monday it would acquire ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion in cash, strengthening its Xbox video game offering with the studio behind titles such as Fallout and the Doom, as competition heats up with Sony.

ZeniMax is the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, which has also developed hits including The Elder Scrolls, Wolfenstein, and Dishonored.

The deal comes more than a week after Microsoft’s failed bid for short video app TikTok‘s U.S assets. TikTok has currently structured the deal as a partnership with Oracle and Walmart rather than an outright sale.

READ ALSO: Sony PlayStation 5 to launch on November 12 in Mexico, and November 19 in other Latin American countries

Microsoft said it plans to bring Bethesda’s future games into its monthly Xbox Game Pass subscription service when they launch on Xbox or PC. The game pass now has more than 15 million subscribers, Microsoft added.

Bethesda’s structure and leadership will remain in place, Microsoft said.

Gaming is on a tear due to demand from stuck-at-home users during the COVID-19 pandemic and Microsoft has put its faith in offering users many ways to play via its cloud service and consoles at different price points.

The latest deal would mean Microsoft will have more hit titles in its gaming library, a key attraction point for gamers while choosing a console.

READ ALSO: Amazon launches Prime Gaming, the new version of Twitch Prime

“Microsoft recognizes its need for consumer-based revenue growth which we believe this deal will directly help drive along,” brokerage Wedbush Securities said in a note.

Both Microsoft and Sony are launching their next-generation gaming devices in November, with pre-orders for Xbox going live on Tuesday.

Microsoft said the ZeniMax deal will close in the second half of the fiscal year 2021 and have minimal impact on adjusted operating income in fiscal years 2021 and 2022.

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