While it is not clear exactly how this will work, the subsidiary ‘Vault’ will be a good way to house Microsoft̵
This is another approach to Microsoft’s previous acquisitions, such as Obsidian, Ninja Theory and Double Fine, which formally became part of Microsoft and is under the Xbox Game Studios brand. Whether the ZeniMax studios become known as part of Vault or not, the transition to creating a Microsoft subsidiary to complete the merger seems to mark a level of independence compared to other acquired companies.
This is consistent with previous reports of Bethesda’s semi-independence under Microsoft. Phil Spencer told CNET in September that “they are not about becoming us,” referring to the agreement. Bethesda SVP for Global Marketing Pete Hines supported this and said in a statement that “we are still working on the same games as yesterday, made by the same studios we have been working on for years, and these games will be published by us,” approximately simultaneous.
We have still not heard how the acquisition will work in terms of the exclusivity of future Bethesda games. However, Bethesda CEO Todd Howard recently said that it is “hard to imagine” a game like Elder Scrolls 6 being Xbox exclusive. Arkanes Deathloop will be launched later this year as a timed PS5 exclusive, with Microsoft honoring the deal after acquiring Arkane as part of the ZeniMax acquisition.
Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.