Well, technically, Microsoft is acquiring ZeniMax Media, which is the parent company of Bethesda Software; but Bethesda Softworks is admittedly the more interesting detail. Here is a link to the official announcement.
Can’t say I saw this coming, but this is very intriguing acquisition to say the least. What will this mean for Bethesda Softworks games going forward? I know there is a fair amount of talk on Twitter about Bethesda’s games becoming console exclusives. I’m not so sure about that. Doesn’t seem like a smart move to take a publisher who has been releasing their games across all platforms for a while now and just cut out one of those established markets. Sure, it would give Xbox a boost in what would be first party exclusives that PlayStation used to have; but I don’t think that is entirely smart.
Here is what I honestly think is more likely to happen. Bethesda Softworks main titles will release first on Xbox as a timed exclusive, and they will be exclusive to the Xbox Game Pass subscription service. The latter is not to say you won’t be able to get them digitally on PlayStation, just that they won’t be included in PlayStation Plus. Baring Microsoft and Sony don’t make some sort of deal to get Xbox Game Pass on PlayStation. Granted, I’d expect to win the lottery before I see that happening. If it does though, I’ll drop everything and immediately buy a lottery ticket.
Either way, this is a big win for Microsoft that puts Sony in an interesting position. From what I’ve seen, this won’t impact anything already slated for release on the PlayStation 5, namely DEATHLOOP and GhostWire: Tokyo; but I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if both of these titles are eventually released on Xbox Series X/S considering they are already slated for PC. Will be more interesting to see what happens with Starfield and Elder Scrolls VI.