Xbox and Bethesda are now officially hitched

Bring out the rice and the turtledoves, we’ve got a wedding going on today! After months of planning, getting paperwork signed and approved, and all the anticipation that comes with it, Bethesda and Microsoft Xbox are finally a couple. I’ve heard that stepchildren Doom Slayer and Master Chief are getting along fine and they’re already sharing guns.

Is this a big surprise? Fuck no, we saw it coming from miles away. Especially if you’re one of the few who’s been checking Instakilled for the last couple of days (for which you have my never-ending gratitude). The merger was quite clear in the open for several months now, but there was still a lot of paperwork to be done before we could call it official.

For instance, there was the SEC that needed to give their permission in this matter. The government body had to review the merger to make sure that it wouldn’t violate any laws or create an avoidable imbalance in the industry. The European Commission basically had to do the same thing. Both parties agreed that the fusion wouldn’t pose serious doubts as to its compatibility with the common market.

As you might understand, both wedding partners are overjoyed to share the news with the world. Pete Hines (speaking on behalf of Bethesda) and Phil Spencer (doing the honors for Xbox) have both released a lengthy statement, which I’ll share below. But first, a nice little montage by Bethesda, showing us how the company went from being a wee baby to becoming the perfect bride for Xbox.

And now, I’ll give the mic to the bride and groom. Take it away, Mr. and Mrs. Xbox-Bethesda!

Ladies and gentleman, Pete Hines:

“First, let me say that we’re not making any landmark announcements or changes right now. As we’ve all shared, the expectation is that Bethesda Softworks and our studios will continue as we have in the past, just with more support and resources than we’ve ever had before. Obviously, Game Pass has been an important initiative for Xbox, and we’ll be working on putting even more of our games into Game Pass than ever before. Beyond that? Stay tuned, we’re just getting started together.

Second, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that it is a bittersweet day given that our founder, Robert Altman, passed away last month. Among his many admirable qualities was the incredible spirit of family and loyalty that he shared with all of us. I will be forever grateful for his efforts to find the perfect place for ZeniMax, Bethesda, and our studios and employees to continue their excellent work going forward.I’d also like to thank Phil Spencer and all the folks at Xbox and Microsoft who have been such a pleasure to work with as we prepare for this new chapter. The collaboration, mutual respect, and support they’ve shown to us during this process has been extraordinary.

I’m pleased to continue the great relationships we’ve built together over the past few decades, first as partners and now as colleagues in the same company. And of course, I want to say thanks to all of you for your support. It is not something we ever take lightly or for granted. This year marks 35 years since the original creation of Bethesda Softworks. Reaching a milestone like that, while also going through a historic occasion like this acquisition, puts in perspective just how far we’ve come in that time. A journey that wouldn’t be worth it without all of you to share it with.”

See? Getting along just fine. Nothing to worry about…

Such lovely words, Pete. We shall now give the floor to the proud groom. Take it away, Phil.

This is an exciting day for Xbox. Today we officially complete the acquisition of ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda Softworks. It’s an honor to welcome the eight incredibly talented development studios – Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios–and their passionate global communities to the Xbox family. Now that everything is official, we can begin working together to deliver more great games to everyone. At every step building toward this moment, I’ve been inspired and motivated by the creativity, insight, and community-first approach of the talented people at Bethesda. Our goal is to give these teams the best foundation for doing their greatest work and to learn from them as we continue to build Xbox into an inclusive platform for all players.

This is the next step in building an industry-leading first party studios team, a commitment we have to our Xbox community. With the addition of the Bethesda creative teams, gamers should know that Xbox consoles, PC, and Game Pass will be the best place to experience new Bethesda games, including some new titles in the future that will be exclusive to Xbox and PC players.

As we shared previously, it’s vitally important that Bethesda continues making games the way it always has. 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. Xbox and Bethesda have long shared a common vision for the future of gaming. Both as fans and as creators, Bethesda understands the potential of Xbox Game Pass.

We would also like to honor the life and memory of my close friend Robert A. Altman, founder of ZeniMax Media. Robert believed deeply in the power of gaming and we are privileged to be able to continue his work by joining forces with the teams he built and led for many years. I will miss the opportunity to work directly with him on the future of our combined teams but I know that his spirit will live on in the shared work we do and motivate us to make this partnership all he envisioned.

Thank you to all our players for joining us on this incredible journey and to the millions of Bethesda fans around the world. Now that we’re one team, we can start working together on the future ahead. We will have more to share about what’s next for our teams later this year. In the meantime, to properly celebrate this special moment, we are bringing additional Bethesda games into Xbox Game Pass later this week. Stay tuned for more details!”