Well now, this was unexpected.

For weeks we’ve been hearing rumours that Microsoft was in talks to purchase Bungie. It’s a good thing we didn’t put anything into those rumours because they were false.

However, Microsoft was in the process of acquiring a game studio, and a bit more as it announces it’s acquisition of ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks.

“Today is a special day, as we welcome some of the most accomplished studios in the games industry to Xbox. We are thrilled to announce Microsoft has entered into an agreement to acquire ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda Softworks,” head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, said in a blog post.

While Bethesda Softworks is the big ticket item here, we shouldn’t ignore that this deal means Microsoft now also owns the following studios:

  • Bethesda Softworks
  • Bethesda Game Studios
  • id Software
  • ZeniMax Online Studios
  • Arkane
  • MachineGames
  • Tango Gameworks
  • Alpha Dog
  • Roundhouse Studios

That’s a lot of IP right there including DOOM, The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Dishonoured, Prey and many more.

Despite this massive announcement, senior vice president of global marketing and communications at Bethesda, Pete Hines believes this will only strengthen the development teams.

“Yes, it’s a big change for us, but after taking a minute to absorb the magnitude of this acquisition, we’re going to continue doing what we know and love: making great games. We’re going to keep trying new things. We’re going to take the same passion we’ve poured into what we do, and the passion that our community brings to the things we make, and do even better,” wrote Hines.

Xbox’s Phil Spencer went on to say that the Bethesda teams will continue “all of their great work” and that the console maker looks forward to empowering the developers with new resources.

This acquisition adds to Microsoft’s burgeoning list of development studios including Obsidian, Ninja Theory and 343 Industries.

Now that we think about it, a Bungie acquisition isn’t totally out of the question. Provided the price isn’t too high of course.