When Microsoft announced its acquisition of ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion on Monday, many people likely had to look the company up to find out that it’s is a video game holding company, most famous as the parent company of Bethesda. Bethesda? Glad you asked. As one of the largest privately held game developers and publishers in the world, Bethesda is the company behind video game franchises such as The Elder Scrolls, Fallout and DOOM, to mention only a few.
While some might still consider video games child’s play, that couldn’t be further from the truth. “Gaming is the most expansive category in the entertainment industry, as people everywhere turn to gaming to connect, socialize and play with their friends,” Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, said in the company’s official announcement of the blockbuster deal. As the following chart shows, Nadella is right in his judgement. According to data from Newzoo, players around the world spent more than $145 billion on computer, video and mobile games last year, far exceeding global box office earnings and worldwide music revenues as reported by Comscore and IFPI, respectively.