Phil Spencer reveals why Xbox is silent about Zenimax deal


Last month, Microsoft announced its acquisition of Zenimax and Bethesda for a nice $7.5 billion. Xbox boss Phil Spencer kept mum about it since for a good reason.

The explosive reveal on Xbox came last month that Zenimax and all its studios are coming under the Microsoft umbrella. Questions are coming from all directions, but somehow the tech giant stayed silent. Phil Spencer revealed why.

In an interview, he notes that there are legal requirements that they need to fulfill. Technically, Microsoft only revealed their intention to buy Zenimax. The deal is already out of the gate, but it still needs to pass a few more hurdles.

“We haven’t acquired Zenimax,” says Xbox head

According to the interview, Spencer notes that it is still illegal to comment on the Microsoft-Zenimax deal. The deal to buy the company is not yet complete, which they expect will finish early next year.

With that said, Xbox heads need to be careful about what they say to the press. Almost anything can derail such a big transaction. It also needs to pass through proper channels before Microsoft can acknowledge what’s happening.

“First of all, I would like to say that we haven’t acquired ZeniMax,” says the head honcho of Xbox. “We have announced our intention to acquire ZeniMax. It is going through regulatory approval and we don’t see any issues there. We expect early in 2021 the deal will close.

“But I say that because I want people to know, I’m not sitting down with Todd Howard and Robert Altman and planning their future. Because I’m currently not allowed to do that, that would be illegal.”

Xbox boss has long-term plans for Zenimax

Phil Spencer is optimistic about Microsoft’s position to get Zenimax soon. Even then, he understands the tact needed for such a business decision. When asked about specifics about Bethesda’s portfolio, he seemed dour about details.

“Your question is completely inbound, but I get a lot of questions right now: ‘is this game exclusive? Is this game exclusive?’ And right now, that is not my job in regards to ZeniMax. My job is not to sit down and go through their portfolio and dictate what happens.”

In terms of long-term planning, Bethesda Director Todd Howard and Spencer are looking to make the best games on the platform.

“I want those amazing studios to create the best games they ever created,” Spencer noted. “That’s when Todd and I sat down and had a discussion. Todd and I have known each other for years and years, and we talked about this partnership.

“We looked each other in the eyes and we said, ‘okay, what are we really gonna do here?’ And he said, ‘I wanna build the best games that I’ve ever built and I want the support of Microsoft to be able to do that.’ And I say the same thing about the studios at Arkane and id Software and Machine Games. I want them to do the most amazing work and support them in doing that.”

Phil Spencer and Xbox are yet to answer many of the burning questions about Zenimax. In particular, consumers are curious if they will make their games exclusive to their ecosystems like the Xbox and PC.

Featured image courtesy of Phil Spencer/Twitter

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