Microsoft buys game giant Bethesda for $7.5bn

Microsoft is reportedly buying game publisher Zenimax/Bethesda, custodians of a huge stable of popular games and studios, for a whopping $7.5bn.

Bloomberg News' Dina Bass and Jason Schreier describes it as the most expensive game deal ever, "an industry-shaking acquisition that will give Xbox ownership of Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Doom, Wolfenstein, Dishonored, and more."

The parties posted an official announcement at 9 a.m. this morning.

As one of the largest, most critically acclaimed, privately held game developers and publishers in the world, Bethesda is an incredibly talented group of 2,300 people worldwide who make up some of the most accomplished creative studios in our industry … Bethesda's games have always had a special place on Xbox and in the hearts of millions of gamers around the world. Our teams have a close and storied history working together, from the amazing first DOOM, and its id Tech engine, innovating games on PCs to Bethesda bringing their first console game to the original Xbox, the groundbreaking The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Over the years I've had many deep conversations with the creative leaders at Bethesda on the future of gaming and we've long shared similar visions for the opportunities for creators and their games to reach more players in more ways.

I remember as a wee lad, riding my levitating horse in Daggerfall, a snarl of broken quests abandoned behind me, not once thinking "all this will one day be worth billions."