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Xbox Game Pass hits 15m subs as Microsoft buys Bethesda for $7.5b

22 Sep 2020 | Rasmus Larsen |

Microsoft has acquired the company behind games like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and DOOM. Xbox Game Pass has 15 million subscribers and Microsoft is still planning to bring it to iOS.

Xbox Game Pass

Microsoft says that it now has over 15 million Xbox Game Pass subscribers, up from 10 million in April 2020. The relatively new game subscription service, sometimes referred to as "Netflix for games", is booming. In a statement to Bloomberg, the Xbox chief said that Microsoft also remains committed to bringing Xbox Game Pass to iOS, despite the company's recent comments that Apple's new rules for streaming games "remain a bad experience for customers". - "We’re committed to bringing xCloud to all mobile endpoints, including Apple’s big ecosystem. For customers out there -- and I see it on Twitter all the time, people asking — they can just know we will get there. We remain committed," Microsoft’s Xbox chief Phil Spencer said in a statement to Bloomberg.

Xbox + Bethesda

Microsoft acquires Bethesda

In a deal worth $7.5 billion in cash, Microsoft will acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks and Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios. Bethesda’s best known game franchises include The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, DOOM, Quake, Wolfenstein, and Dishonored. Microsoft says that it will respect current plans to bring Bethesda games to PlayStation 5 but future games from Bethesda will be made available at launch on Xbox Game Pass. - "With the addition of Bethesda, Microsoft will grow from 15 to 23 creative studio teams and will be adding Bethesda’s iconic franchises to Xbox Game Pass. This includes Microsoft’s intent to bring Bethesda’s future games into Xbox Game Pass the same day they launch on Xbox or PC, like Starfield, the highly anticipated, new space epic currently in development by Bethesda Game Studios," the company said. Also read: Next-gen console games will cost up to $70 / €80 Why is Microsoft prepared to cough up $7.5 billion? Xbox Game Pass now has 15 million subscribers each paying $10 dollars or more monthly. Imagine if it had 100 million. And imagine if it had tons of exclusives too. That is next-gen gaming business. - "This is an awesome time to be an Xbox fan. In the last 10 days alone, we’ve released details on our two new consoles which go on pre-order tomorrow, launched cloud gaming in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and now we’re making another investment in the most critical part of our strategy: the games," said Phil Spencer, EVP of Gaming, Microsoft. The most direct alternative to Xbox Game Pass is Sony's PlayStation Now that boasted 2.2 million subscribers as of May 2020. - Source: Microsoft, Bloomberg

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