April 17, 2021

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travel, Always a step ahead

Xbox and Bethesda will talk this week about what the acquisition means

2 min read

Regulators in the United States and Europe approved Microsoft’s acquisition of Zenimax Media, and that means Bethesda is now an Xbox studio. But what does that mean for the companies involved and for fans of games like Fallout and The Elder Scrolls? Well, Microsoft is going to start answering those questions with a video presentation on Thursday, March 11, according to sources familiar with the plans.

Microsoft is unlikely to get into the specifics about Bethesda’s upcoming projects. Details about the previously announced sci-fi role-playing adventure Starfield will likely come this summer, so Xbox and Bethesda won’t talk about that now. Instead, they will explain what the deal means for Xbox Game Pass subscribers.

In particular, a number of Bethesda games should make the leap to Game Pass soon. Microsoft will also use this time to reiterate that any future (and contractually eligible) game from under the Zenimax umbrella will hit Game Pass at launch.

Xbox and Bethesda are also not planning to mash together their summer showcases. Both companies are preparing announcements for around E3 (the Electronic Entertainment Expo trade show), but they will hold them separately. Microsoft, however, may try to present them back-to-back as part of a one-two punch for Xbox.

Finally, it’s still unclear whether Microsoft and Bethesda will address the question of platform exclusivity. PlayStation fans want to know if Bethesda releases like Starfield, Indiana Jones, or The Elder Scrolls VI will also launch on PS5. The Thursday presentation may provide a black-and-white answer, or it might keep things gray — especially if its plans are more nuanced and conditional from game to game.

Microsoft will likely confirm the event in the next day or two.

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