Microsoft has now officially acquired Bethesda and its partners, bringing the publisher into the Xbox stables through one of the biggest games acquisitions in modern history.
The plan for Xbox to buy Bethesda for some $7.5 billion was first announced in September 2020, but the European Union only approved the deal over the weekend of March 6, 2021. Today, Bethesda and Microsoft released joint statements confirming that the acquisition has been finalized.
"It’s vitally important that Bethesda continues making games the way it always has," Xbox boss Phil Spencer reiterated. "We look forward to empowering Bethesda’s creative teams to reach even more players around the world, helping make future Bethesda titles the biggest and most popular games in their history."
As Xbox general manager Aaron Greenberg announced on Twitter, more Bethesda games will be added to Xbox Game Pass this week to celebrate the finalized deal. We don't know what these games are or when exactly they'll arrive, but with games as new as Doom Eternal already available on Game Pass, everything in Bethesda's lineup is fair game.
It's no surprise to see more of Bethesda's catalog coming to Game Pass, as Xbox has pushed its subscription service especially heavily since the Xbox Series X launch. The Bethesda acquisition was positioned as a push for first-party strength alongside the start of a new console generation, but it will also benefit Game Pass considerably. Future Bethesda games, for example, will come to Xbox Game Pass the day they're released, further bolstering the program's library.
Microsoft has also confirmed its Bethesda Xbox exclusivity plans.