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New Microsoft company Vault will be merged "with and into" Zenimax

Fallout 4
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Microsoft says it's creating a new subsidiary company called Vault as part of its acquisition of Zenimax.

Legal documents displayed on European Law website EUR-Lex state that Microsoft will acquire "sole control of the whole of Zenimax." That process will be accomplished via "a newly created Microsoft subsidiary ('Vault')" which "will be merged with and into Zenimax."

It's not clear exactly what the new company's role will be, but it sounds as though Vault will be the new home for Zenimax's studios - including Bethesda, Arkane, iD Software, and MachineGames - within Microsoft. What impact that might have is difficult to tell - it could be a means of Microsoft exercising more control over its new studios, but might also be a way to ensure some extra independence, as it looks as though the acquired teams won't be included under the Xbox Game Studios banner like some of the company's other recent acquisitions.

Microsoft's choice of name for its new subsidiary hasn't escaped notice. As well as being large spaces used for storage, Vaults are a key part of Fallout lore. It's likely that Microsoft has just found a clever name for its new subsidiary, but it's not too much of a stretch to take the name as a tacit show of support for the future of Bethesda's post-apocalyptic IP.

Microsoft announced its acquisition of Zenimax in September last year, and the deal now seems to be drawing towards completion. Approval from the European Commission was sought at the end of January, with a provisional deadline set for March 5. It's possible that could be pushed back if the commission thinks the merger breaks rules around industry competition, but there's been no word on that front so far, which bodes well for the merger.

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

Ali Jones

I'm GamesRadar's deputy news editor, working with Ben T across our gaming news articles. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.