Microsoft announced plans to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks. The deal will cost Microsoft $7.5 billion in cash.

With the acquisition of Bethesda, Microsoft will grow the number of its first-party studios from 15 to 23. That’s adding 2,300 employees across studios like Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios.

Iconic franchises like Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Doom, Dishonored, Wolfenstein, Rage, Prey, The Evil Within, Quake will now be added to Xbox Game Pass.

The acquisition will become the biggest deal in the history of Microsoft. For reference, it acquired Minecraft developer Mojang for $2.5 billion.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of fiscal year 2021.

Curiously, Bethesda’s upcoming titles, Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo, are set to debut on PlayStation 5 as timed exclusives. Not something Microsoft does very often. On a related note, following the deal, Bethesda and Obsidian will now belong to the same company. Should we expect Fallout: New Vegas 2?