Microsoft's acquisition of Bethesda parent ZeniMax Media is expected to be approved or rejected by the European Union on March 5, according to filings spotted by Reuters. Microsoft made the request to approve the merger on January 29.
The Redmond giant caught most of those in the industry by surprise when it announced the acquisition of ZeniMax, which is the parent company of studios like id Software, Arkane, Bethesda, and more. Collectively, these studios have developed some of the most recognizable games in recent years, such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, DOOM, Wolfenstein, and Fallout.
While most of these titles have launched on Xbox consoles alongside PC and PlayStation, the acquisition gives Microsoft the ability to make many of them exclusive to its platforms. So far, we haven't seen a clear indication of that happening, as PlayStation 5 exclusives Deathloop and Ghostwire Tokyo will still release exclusively on Sony's platform. Microsoft has also said it will decide platform exclusivity for its games on a case-by-case basis.
The acquisition of ZeniMax is worth $7.5 billion, and it's just the latest in a series of purchases as Microsoft tries to bolster the Xbox brand. Studios like Obsidian – former Fallout developer – inXile, Double Fine, Ninja Theory, and more have all joined Microsoft in the past few years.