Microsoft will consider buying even more game companies in the future, following its $7.5bn acquisition of Bethesda parent Zenimax, its CEO has said.
The huge acquisition deal was announced on Monday and sees Xbox increase its number of in-house development studios to 23, up from 15 prior, and gives it control of hit franchises such as Fallout and The Elder Scrolls.
Over the past two years Xbox has aggressively grown its portfolio of first-party studios ahead of the release of Xbox Series X and S this November.
As well as setting up The Initiative and a new Age of Empires studio, Xbox acquired Ninja Theory (Hellblade), Playground Games (Forza Horizon), Obsidian (Fallout: New Vegas), InXile (Wasteland 3) and Double Fine (Psychonauts).
Discussing its future ambitions for games expansion, he said: “We’ll always look for places where there is that commonality of purpose, mission and culture.”
He added: “You can’t wake up one day and say, ‘Let me build a game studio… The idea of having content is so we can reach larger communities.”
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said in the same interview: “Content is just the incredible ingredient to our platform that we continue to invest in… This doubles the size of our creative organization.”
Employing some 2,300 staff worldwide, Bethesda Softworks studios include Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios.
They are the development teams responsible for franchises including The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, Doom, Dishonored, Prey and Quake, among others.
On Monday Id Software co-founder John Carmack welcomed the news and suggested it could see him once again work with the studio he co-founded.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer said he will honour PS5 exclusivity agreements for Deathloop (Arkane Studios) and Ghostwire: Tokyo (Tango Gameworks), while Zenimax Online has claimed that The Elder Scrolls Online will continue to be supported “exactly as it was” on current platforms.