The deal is expected to close in H2 FY21 with minimal impact on non-GAAP operating income for FY21 and FY22.
Zenimax's key studios are building massively anticipated titles including The Elder Scrolls VI, a mysterious sci-fi title known as Starfield, Wolfenstein III, and more.
While full word of what this means for Bethesda games on other platforms isn't clear, it seems fairly likely that future Bethesda titles will only appear on Xbox platforms - which of course includes PC via the Windows Store and Steam.
Interestingly, this also gives Microsoft ownership of some of Zenimax's proprietary technology, including the Creation Engine, used by Bethesda to build truly massive worlds on a comparatively rapid cadence, and the id Tech engine, used in games like DOOM and RAGE 2.
In a blog post, Bethesda SVP of global marketing said, "We're still working on the same games we were yesterday, made by the same studios we've worked with for years, and those games will be published by us".
Microsoft today announced that it would acquire the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, one of the biggest game developers in the world. Over the years I've had many deep conversations with the creative leaders at Bethesda on the future of gaming and we've long shared similar visions for the opportunities for creators and their games to reach more players in more ways. This includes Starfield, a game that's now in development by Bethesda Game Studios.
Xbox has announced it will acquire Bethesda, the owners of The Elder Scrolls and Fallout, as well as upcoming new role-playing franchise Starfield. "We're going to keep trying new things". "Microsoft is an incredible partner and offers access to resources that will make us a better publisher and developer".
All of our work, and the foundation of our relationship with you, starts with a commitment to deliver a breadth of wonderful games to discover and play on Xbox.
Over the last few years, Microsoft has been engaging in what it might be accurate to call empire building.
"Please join me in welcoming all of our friends at Bethesda to Team Xbox", a message from Xbox head Phil Spencer adds.
What a move hours before people start buying your next-gen consoles.