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Microsoft moves one step closer to finalizing its Bethesda acquisition

Fallout's famous Please Stand By screenholder
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Microsoft's purchase of Bethesda has been approved by The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

While it's not the final hurdle for Microsoft to clear - the acquisition still has to be approved by the European Commission - the "Notice of Effectiveness" filed Stateside earlier this week does bring the takeover one step closer to completion.

The Notice of Effectiveness was filed alongside a prospectus, a document full of legalese that confirms the details of the acquisition, including that $7.5 billion price tag (thanks, Gamespot).

Microsoft is still awaiting the judgment of the European Commission, however, and the provisional deadline for antitrust regulators to clear the deal and ensure it doesn't break the rules around industry competition - March 5 - has passed without public comment.

Microsoft announced its acquisition of Zenimax in September last year, and we recently learned that Microsoft is creating a new subsidiary company called Vault as part of its acquisition of Zenimax.

Legal documents stated that Microsoft will acquire "sole control of the whole of Zenimax" and that process will be accomplished via "a newly created Microsoft subsidiary ('Vault')" which "will be merged with and into Zenimax".

ICYMI, it's come to light that Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda may be one of the reasons Google recently decided to close its first-party Stadia Games and Entertainment studios earlier this month.

In a staff Q&A session Google Stadia’s general manager Phil Harrison reportedly “pointed specifically to Microsoft’s buying spree and planned acquisition of Bethesda Software later this year as one of the factors that had made Google decide to close the book on original game development".” This, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and the “rising costs of game development” were apparently also a factor in the decision.

With Zenimax on board at Microsoft, the list of upcoming Xbox Series X games could be about to get a lot longer.

Vikki Blake
Vikki Blake

Writer. Guardian. Spartan. Silent Hillian. Little Sister. High Chaos. I also write for other fine places including the BBC, Eurogamer, and, and have a weekly games column at NME.