Bethesda Game Studios

Last updated

Bethesda Game Studios
Industry Video game industry
Founded2001;18 years ago (2001)
Key people
Number of employees
400 [1]  (2018)
Parent Bethesda Softworks

Bethesda Game Studios (BGS) is an American video game developer and a division of Bethesda Softworks based in Rockville, Maryland. The company was established in 2001 as the spin-off of Bethesda Softworks' development unit, with Bethesda Softworks itself retaining only a publishing function. The studio is led by Todd Howard as executive producer and Ashley Cheng as studio director. BGS operates three satellite studios, one in Montreal and two in Texas, and employs 400 people as of July 2018.

A video game developer is a software developer that specializes in video game development – the process and related disciplines of creating video games. A game developer can range from one person who undertakes all tasks to a large business with employee responsibilities split between individual disciplines, such as programming, design, art, testing, etc. Most game development companies have video game publisher financial and usually marketing support. Self-funded developers are known as independent or indie developers and usually make indie games.

A division of a business, sometimes called a business sector or business unit (segment), is one of the parts into which a business, organization or company is divided. The divisions are distinct parts of that business. If these divisions are all part of the same company, then that company is legally responsible for all of the obligations and debts of the divisions. However, in a large organization, various parts of the business may be run by different subsidiaries, and a business division may include one or many subsidiaries. Each subsidiary is a separate legal entity owned by the primary business or by another subsidiary in the hierarchy. Often a division operates under a separate name and is the equivalent of a corporation or limited liability company obtaining a fictitious name or "doing business as" certificate and operating a business under that fictitious name. Companies often set up business units to operate in divisions prior to the legal formation of subsidiaries.

Bethesda Softworks LLC is an American video game publisher based in Rockville, Maryland. The company was founded by Christopher Weaver in 1986 as a division of Media Technology Limited, and in 1999 became a subsidiary of ZeniMax Media. In its first fifteen years, it was a video game developer and self-published its titles. In 2001, Bethesda spun off its own in-house development team into Bethesda Game Studios, and Bethesda Softworks became a publisher. It also publishes games by ZeniMax Online Studios, id Software, Arkane Studios, MachineGames and Tango Gameworks.



In 2001, ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, decided that the two operational units at Bethesda Softworks, development and publishing, should be split apart. Subsequently, Bethesda Softworks retained the publishing, while development staff was moved to the newly established Bethesda Game Studios. [2]

ZeniMax Media Inc. is an American video game holding company based in Rockville, Maryland, and founded in 1999. The company owns id Software, Arkane Studios, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, publisher Bethesda Softworks with its Bethesda Game Studios and ZeniMax Online Studios.

On December 9, 2015, ZeniMax Media announced the formation Bethesda Game Studios Montreal, a new BGS studio located in Montreal, Quebec. Led by Yves Lachance, the former head of Behaviour Interactive, the studio was set to broaden BGS' portfolio of games across all gaming platforms. [3]

Behaviour Interactive

Behaviour Interactive Inc. is a Canadian video game development studio specializing in the production of 2D and 3D action/adventure games for home video game consoles, handheld game consoles and personal computers.

On March 9, 2018, Austin, Texas-based BattleCry Studios, another ZeniMax Media subsidiary, was rebranded as Bethesda Game Studios Austin and thus became part of BGS. [4]

Austin, Texas Capital of Texas

Austin is the capital of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County, with portions extending into Hays and Williamson counties. It is the 11th-most populous city in the United States and the 4th-most populous city in Texas. It is also the fastest growing large city in the United States, the second most populous state capital after Phoenix, Arizona, and the southernmost state capital in the contiguous United States. As of the U.S. Census Bureau's July 1, 2018 estimate, Austin had a population of 964,254 up from 790,491 at the 2010 census. The city is the cultural and economic center of the Austin–Round Rock metropolitan statistical area, which had an estimated population of 2,168,316 as of July 1, 2018. Located in Central Texas within the greater Texas Hill Country, it is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and waterways, including Lady Bird Lake and Lake Travis on the Colorado River, Barton Springs, McKinney Falls, and Lake Walter E. Long.

On August 10, 2018, Escalation Studios was rebranded as Bethesda Game Studios Dallas. [5]

Bethesda Game Studios Dallas LLC is an American video game developer based in Dallas, Texas, founded in 2007 by ex-Ritual Entertainment employees Tom Mustaine and Marc Tardif. The company was briefly owned by 6waves Lolaps in 2012 and was acquired by ZeniMax Media in February 2017. Since August 2018, Escalation is part of Bethesda Game Studios under the name Bethesda Game Studios Dallas.


Montreal City in Quebec, Canada

Montreal is the most populous municipality in the Canadian province of Quebec and the second-most populous municipality in Canada. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. The city is centred on the Island of Montreal, which took its name from the same source as the city, and a few much smaller peripheral islands, the largest of which is Île Bizard. It has a distinct four-season continental climate with warm to hot summers and cold, snowy winters.

Bethesda Game Studios Austin LLC is an American video game developer based in Austin, Texas. It was founded on October 3, 2012, as subsidiary of ZeniMax Media, headed by Rich Vogel as its president. Initially, BattleCry Studios was seeking employees with experience in microtransactions and free-to-play games.

Games developed

Since its foundation, Bethesda Game Studios has principally been involved in the development of role-playing video games with their The Elder Scrolls and Fallout series for consoles and personal computers, almost all of which have been commercially and financially successful. [6] [7]

In 2015, the studio entered into the mobile gaming market with Fallout Shelter based on the same franchise, which gained 50 million players by mid-2016. In February 2017, Howard said that they are in development of another mobile title following onto the success of Fallout Shelter. [8] This was revealed in 2018 to be The Elder Scrolls: Blades .

In 2016, Howard confirmed that while they are developing The Elder Scrolls VI , it was still a long way to the game's release. Meanwhile, two other significant projects are in development which are expected to be released prior to The Elder Scrolls VI. [9] On May 30, 2018, Fallout 76 was announced. [10] On June 10, 2018, during Bethesda's E3 2018 conference, the other project in development was revealed to be the company's first new intellectual property in 25 years, Starfield, which is in production with no specific platform details revealed. Todd Howard revealed that Fallout 76 was Bethesda Game Studios first online-only role-playing survival game. However, the game has received a notable amount of criticism from fans and critics alike.

2002 The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Action role-playing Microsoft Windows, Xbox
2004 IHRA Professional Drag Racing 2005 Racing PlayStation 2, Xbox
2006 The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Action role-playingMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
2008 Fallout 3
2011 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
2015 Fallout Shelter Simulation Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Fallout 4 Action role-playingMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
2016 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
2017 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4
Fallout 4 VR Microsoft Windows
2018 Fallout 76 Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
2019 The Elder Scrolls: Blades Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows [11]
The Elder Scrolls VI

Expansion packs

2002 Tribunal The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Microsoft Windows, Xbox
2003 Bloodmoon
2006 Knights of the Nine The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
2007 Shivering Isles
2009 Operation: Anchorage Fallout 3
The Pitt
Broken Steel
Point Lookout
Mothership Zeta
2012 Dawnguard The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
2016 Automatron Fallout 4 Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Wasteland Workshop
Far Harbor
Contraptions Workshop
Vault-Tec Workshop


Related Research Articles

The Elder Scrolls is a series of action role-playing open world epic fantasy video games primarily developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. The series is known for its elaborate and richly detailed open worlds and its focus on free-form gameplay. Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim all won Game of the Year awards from multiple outlets. The series has sold more than 50 million copies worldwide.

<i>The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion</i> 2006 action role-playing video game

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is an open world action role-playing video game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks and the Take-Two Interactive division 2K Games. It is the fourth installment in The Elder Scrolls action fantasy series, following The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and preceding The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The game was released for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360 in March 2006, and on PlayStation 3 in March 2007, with a mobile version of the game released on May 2, 2006. Taking place within the fictional province of Cyrodiil, Oblivion's main story revolves around the player character's efforts to thwart a fanatical cult known as the "Mythic Dawn" that plans to open portal gates to a demonic realm known as "Oblivion". The game continues the open world tradition of its predecessors by allowing the player to travel anywhere in the game world at any time and to ignore or postpone the main storyline indefinitely. A perpetual objective for players is to improve their character's skills, which are numerical representations of certain abilities. Early in the game, seven skills are selected by the player as major skills for their character, with those remaining termed as minor skills.

Todd Howard American video game designer, director, and producer

Todd Howard is an American video game designer, director, and producer. He serves as director and executive producer at Bethesda Game Studios, where he has led the development of the Fallout and The Elder Scrolls series.

ZeniMax Online Studios LLC is an American video game developer and a subsidiary of ZeniMax Media, specializing in massively multiplayer online games. The company developed The Elder Scrolls Online and its downloadable content. ZeniMax Online Studios had around 250 employees in 2012. In addition to the main Hunt Valley, Maryland based office, ZeniMax Online also maintains a customer support center in Galway, Ireland as well as an additional office in Austin, Texas.

The Radiant AI is a technology developed by Bethesda Softworks for The Elder Scrolls video games. It allows non-player characters (NPCs) to make choices and engage in behaviors more complex than in past titles. The technology was developed for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and expanded in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim; it is also used in Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 4, also published by Bethesda.

Adam Adamowicz was an American video game concept artist, best known for his work on The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Fallout 3, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim at Bethesda Softworks. He grew up on Long Island, New York and was of Polish descent.

Emil Pagliarulo is a video game designer working for Bethesda Softworks since 2002. He previously worked for Looking Glass Studios and Ion Storm Austin. He is best known for being the lead designer and the lead writer of Fallout 3, for which he received the Best Writing award at the 2008 Game Developers Choice Awards. He was also credited as the senior designer and writer of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, as well as Fallout 4.

<i>The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim</i> video game

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is an action role-playing video game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It is the fifth main installment in The Elder Scrolls series, following The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on November 11, 2011.

Creation Engine game engine by Bethesda

The Creation Engine is a 3D video game engine created by Bethesda Game Studios based on the Gamebryo engine. The Creation Engine has been used to create role-playing video games such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Fallout 4 and Fallout 76.

MachineGames Swedish video game development company

MachineGames is a Swedish video game developer based in Uppsala. The studio was founded in 2009 by seven former employees of Starbreeze Studios, including founder Magnus Högdahl. After unsuccessfully pitching game ideas to several publishers, MachineGames agreed with Bethesda Softworks to develop a new instalment in the Wolfenstein series in July 2010, and was acquired by Bethesda's parent company, ZeniMax Media, in November. In the Wolfenstein series, MachineGames developed The New Order (2014), The Old Blood (2015) and The New Colossus (2017), and is developing Youngblood and Cyberpilot, to be released in 2019.

<i>The Elder Scrolls Online</i> video game

The Elder Scrolls Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by ZeniMax Online Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It was originally released for Microsoft Windows and OS X in April 2014. It is a part of The Elder Scrolls series, of which it is the first multiplayer installment.

Nexus Mods

Nexus Mods is a site which allows users to upload and download "mods" (modifications) for computer games. It acts as a source for the distribution of original content. It is one of the largest gaming modification websites on the web, and, as of May 2018, had ten million registered members. Founded in 2001 as a fan site, Nexus Mods was modified into the website TESSsource in 2007. The Nexus Mods network supported 538 games as of May 2018, with a single forum and a wiki for site and mod-related topics. Recently, the Nexus Mods site expanded to serve as a host for mod files for any modifiable PC game. The website's hosting and publication of various mods has been covered in the gaming and computer press.

<i>Fallout 4</i> open world action role-playing video game

Fallout 4 is a post-nuclear apocalyptic action role-playing game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It is the fifth major installment in the Fallout series and was released worldwide on November 10, 2015, for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game is set within an open world post-apocalyptic environment that encompasses the city of Boston and the surrounding Massachusetts region known as "The Commonwealth". The main story takes place in the year 2287, ten years after the events of Fallout 3 and 210 years after "The Great War", which caused catastrophic nuclear devastation across the United States.

<i>The Elder Scrolls: Blades</i> video game

The Elder Scrolls: Blades is a free-to-play action role-playing game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It is part of The Elder Scrolls series, as a spin-off following The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and preceding The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Blades is currently in early access for Android and iOS devices, and is scheduled for release in mid 2019. A Nintendo Switch version is planned for later in 2019.


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