Bethesda will run "semi-independently" following Microsoft buyout, says Xbox boss Phil Spencer

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Following Microsoft's acquisition of ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has reassured fans that the studio will run "semi-independently."

Speaking to CNET, Spencer emphasized the importance of preserving a studio's culture so that it can continue making the kind of games its fanbase loves. "It is about the culture of those teams," Spencer said. "They're not about becoming us."

While it sounds like the internal structure at Bethesda will remain largely unchanged, Microsoft buying Bethesda will have massive ramifications on the way the studio's next-gen games are distributed. Alongside the historic news, Microsoft revealed Monday that Bethesda's future titles will hit Game Pass the day they're released.

"With the addition of Bethesda, Microsoft will grow from 15 to 23 creative studio teams and will be adding Bethesda's iconic franchises to Xbox Game Pass," Microsoft said in the announcement. "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."

This most likely means that Elder Scrolls 6 will also be available on Game Pass as soon as it comes out. Whether it'll be exclusive to Microsoft platforms is unknown, but the company has said future Bethesda games will come to other platforms "on a case by case basis." Likewise, Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo - developed by studios now owned by Microsoft - will still be timed PS5 exclusives after the buyout.

Here's what the acquisition could mean for games like Elder Scrolls 6, Starfield, and Deathloop.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.