Last year’s hit sequel, Doom Eternal, is one of many games that are now owned by Microsoft. (Bethesda picture)
Microsoft plans to make 20 games from its new subsidiary Bethesda Softworks available on its subscription service Xbox Game Pass starting Friday morning.
The news follows Microsoft’s successful acquisition of ZeniMax Media, the Maryland-based holding company for Bethesda, earlier this week. Through ZeniMax, Bethesda owned eight other studios such as Arkane, id Software, Tango Gameworks and MachineGames, all of which are now part of Xbox Game Studios.
Excited to see more players around the world discover 20 popular Bethesda games in Xbox Game Pass tomorrow. Most of them are available for the first time through cloud games on mobile devices. https://t.co/1tPh80zUTQ
– Phil Spencer (@ XboxP3) March 11, 2021
The 20 Bethesda publications on Game Pass include some of the company’s most popular franchises. While many of them were or have been on Game Pass (Skyrim) before (Fallout 4, Wolfenstein: Youngblood), this shows how significant an acquisition was for Microsoft.
What can be expected as a deal from Microsoft’s blockbuster takeover of Bethesda will be approved by the EU
Bethesda owned, through ZeniMax, the rights to several of the most popular video game franchises including Doom, Fallout, Wolfenstein, and its own bestselling series, Elder Scrolls.
Microsoft’s Phil Spencer has repeatedly downplayed the idea that the acquisition means Bethesda games will ever be exclusive to Microsoft platforms. With that, however, Microsoft still has control of a lot of game properties. A single company now owns Halo, Minecraft, Age of Empires, Gears of War, Fallout, Doom, Wolfenstein, The Elder Scrolls, Forza, Prey, Dishonored, Hellblade, Battletoads and Killer Instinct, among others. It’s not quite on par with the Disney and Fox merger in terms of intellectual property, but it’s in the same general stadium.
The real value of Bethesda’s lineup for Microsoft, based on what the company says, is putting them all on Xbox Game Pass.
Game Pass, which reached 15 million subscribers in September, is a major driver of Microsoft’s gaming business. The Netflix-style subscription allows gamers to download and play the basic retail versions of a rotating selection of video games, with most of Microsoft’s first-party titles appearing on Game Pass on Launch Day.
While most of the Bethesda titles on Game Pass appear simultaneously on Xbox, PC, and mobile devices (via xCloud), there are a few exceptions, the most notable of which is Fallout: New Vegas. Use the table below to verify that a game you are interested in is compatible with your preferred platform:
|game||Original release year||console||Pc||Cell phone, mobile phone|
|Dishonored: Definitive Edition||2012||✓||✓||✓|
|Fallout: New Vegas||2010||✓||– –||– –|
|Fallout 76: Steel Dawn||2018||✓||✓||✓|
|The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind||2002||✓||✓||– –|
|The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion||2006||✓||✓||– –|
|The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim||2011||✓||✓||✓|
|The older one scrolls online||2015||✓||– –||✓|
|The evil within||2014||✓||✓||✓|
|Wolfenstein: The new order||2014||✓||✓||✓|
|Wolfenstein: The old blood||2015||✓||✓||✓|
|Wolfenstein: young blood||2019||✓||✓||✓|