As Microsoft is still waiting for the European Union to approve its acquisition of ZeniMax Media, the software giant has created a new subsidiary called Vault that will house the Bethesda owner once the transaction goes through. The information was revealed on the Official Journal of the European Union (via Eurogamer), with a prior notification of concentration mentioning that the “newly created Microsoft subsidiary (‘Vault’) will be merged with and into ZeniMax.”
It’s not exactly clear why Microsoft chose to create a new subsidiary to welcome this new acquisition, though this isn’t an unusual practice. ZeniMax Media is actually a pretty large conglomerate with various companies under its umbrella, including publisher Bethesda Softworks as well as game studios Bethesda Game Studios (Fallout, The Elder Scrolls), id Software (Doom), MachineGames (Wolfenstein), and Arkane Studios (Dishonored).
According to the same document, it looks like Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax Media should proceed without any opposition from the European Commission. “On preliminary examination, the Commission finds that the notified transaction could fall within the scope of the Merger Regulation,” the document reads.
The European Commission is expected to announce its approval of Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax Media by March 5. If everything goes as planned, Microsoft’s new Vault subsidiary will be able to bring even more first-party games to the company’s Xbox Game Pass subscription service on day one. Xbox head Phil Spencer previously said that existing time-exclusivity deals with Sony will carry on, though future games will ship on PlayStation consoles “on a case by case basis.”