Microsoft is giving select PC gamers free access to four classic games from Bethesda and id Software, which it acquired as part of its $7.5 billion ZeniMax purchase in 2020. Activision Blizzard as well. In a post on the Xbox blog, Microsoft: revealed that Xbox Insiders on Windows PC can now watch Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders, HeXen: Beyond Heretic, HeXen: Deathkings of the Dark Citadel, The Elder Scrolls: Arena and Quake champions.
Unsurprisingly, the offering is only available to PC users who are part of Microsoft’s Insider program — if Ars Technica notes, the first four games in the list were originally released in the mid-90s and run via DOSBox emulation. DOSBox runs software for MS-DOS compatible games, but it’s a pretty inelegant solution for making old titles playable.
The Elder Scrolls: Arena is an open-world action RPG published by Bethesda, with a first person perspective and featuring melee combat and magic. In the meantime, Hereticthe sequel HeXen: Beyond Heretic and its expansion pack, HeXen: Deathkings of the Dark Citadel, are all first-person dark fantasy shooters. They are built using a modified version of the demise engine, and although they were published by id Software, they were developed by Raven Software. Activision acquired the rights to those games when it bought Raven in 1997.
Microsoft first announced it will buy Activision Blizzard in January this year for $68.7 billion and expects the deal to close by June 2023 if regulators approve it. It’s an all-cash deal that Activision values at $95 a share. Microsoft plans to add Activision Blizzard games to the Xbox Game Pass as part of the acquisition, and some of those games are similar to the Heretic-HeXen series, which Activision does not fully own.
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