The Microsoft deal was approved by the European Union without conditions, as it does not raise serious doubts about its compatibility with the common market.
The acquisition requires EU approval before Microsoft can close the Bethesda deal and bring future games to its Xbox Game Pass subscription.
With the addition of Bethesda sub-studios, the number of Microsoft Studios will be 23.
Bethesda owns studios such as Arkane’s Dishonored, Wolfenstein’s MachineGames, Doom’s id Software, and Tango Gameworks from The Evil Within.
Microsoft appears to be planning to keep Bethesda operating separately, with its current leadership, after this approach has worked With Mojang, LinkedIn, and GitHub, all of which continued to operate separately after being acquired by Microsoft.
Microsoft originally announced plans to acquire Bethesda in September, promising to honor the PS5-exclusive commitments of Deathloop and GhostWire: Tokyo, while continuing to support games such as The Elder Scrolls: Online.
Microsoft is supposed to deal with future Bethesda games on a case-by-case basis, according to comments by Microsoft’s chief of games, Phil Spencer, in September.
Microsoft might not even have to release future Bethesda games exclusively on Xbox, as the mere existence of those games is Day 1 via Xbox Game Pass might be enough to entice players to subscribe.
Spencer has questioned the usefulness of exclusive game deals recently, and Microsoft’s plans for Xbox platforms are largely focused on Xbox Game Pass and xCloud to broadcast games that reach millions of other people.
Microsoft is reportedly planning to outline its plans for Xbox later this month.
It is rumored that the Future of Games event may take place on March 23, and it could be a perfect opportunity for Microsoft to discuss the future of Bethesda and xCloud on iOS and its plans for Xbox Game Pass.