In September 2020 the gaming industry was hit with the shocking news that Microsoft is acquiring ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion in cash, bringing Bethesda Softworks is joining Xbox. Bethesda Softworks has been in the industry since 1986, with a long legacy of developing and publishing different titles such as The Elder Scrolls, DOOM, Dishonored, and more. Many of the projects these developers are now working on could be some of best Xbox RPGs to come.
We've created a full list solely because the publishing division is being kept intact. But make no mistake, Bethesda is part of the Xbox family, which now encompasses 23 game studios: 8 under Bethesda Softworks and 15 under Xbox Game Studios. Here's everything Bethesda Softworks is working on right now — that we know of.
Bethesda Softworks Alpha Dog Games
Founded in 2012, Alpha Dog Games was acquired by ZeniMax in October 2019. Located in Halifax, Canada, Alpha Dog focuses on making mobile games such as MonstoCity: Rampage. This team will likely continue to make mobile games for Android and iOS.
Bethesda Softworks Arkane Studios
Founded in 1999, Arkane Studios is composed of two different studios: Arkane Austin in Austin, Texas and Arkane Lyon in Lyon, France. Acquired by ZeniMax in 2012, these teams have a history working on immersive sims such as the Dishonored franchise and Prey. Arkane Lyon is currently working on Deathloop, a timed PS5 console exclusive. Arkane Austin's last project was Prey: Mooncrash in 2018 and while the studio is currently hiring, its next project remains unknown.
Bethesda Softworks Bethesda Game Studios
Founded in 1986, Bethesda Game Studios has expanded to four studios located in Rockville, Maryland; Montreal, Quebec; Austin, Texas and Dallas Texas. These teams have a long history working on The Elder Scrolls and Fallout franchises. Two big games are currently in development: Starfield, a new science-fiction IP, as well as The Elder Scrolls 6.
Bethesda Softworks id Software
Founded in 1991, id Software was acquired by ZeniMax in 2009. With two studios in Richardson, Texas and Frankfurt, Germany, id has worked on first-person shooters galore, including Rage, Quake and DOOM. Right now the teams are working on story expansions for Doom Eternal, as well as managing and developing the id Tech engine.
Bethesda Softworks MachineGames
Founded in 2009 and acquired by ZeniMax in 2010, MachineGames is located in Uppsala, Sweden. MachineGames works on the Wolfenstein franchise, releasing Wolfenstein: Youngblood and Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot in 2019. The team's next project is unknown but is likely to be a full sequel to 2017's Wolfenstein: The New Colossus.
Bethesda Softworks Roundhouse Studios
When Human Head Studios closed in 2019, Bethesda Softworks reached out and hired the staff to form a new team, Roundhouse Studios located in Madison, Wisconsin. This team has a history working on action games like the Rune franchise, shooters like Prey (2006) and the now infamously-canceled Prey 2. We'll have to wait and see just what Roundhouse is working on next.
Bethesda Softworks Tango Gameworks
Founded and acquired in 2010, Tango Gameworks is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Led by Shinji Mikami, the team has worked on horror titles The Evil Within and The Evil Within 2. Currently, it is developing Ghostwire: Tokyo, which is a timed PS5 console exclusive.
Bethesda Softworks ZeniMax Online Studios
ZeniMax Online Studios was founded in 2012 and is continuing to develop new content and updates for The Elder Scrolls Online, an MMORPG set in the world of The Elder Scrolls. Located in Hunt Valley, Maryland, this team will likely continue evolving and growing The Elder Scrolls Online for the forseeable future. With that said, team members have also confirmed that the studio is working on a new AAA IP and a new engine.
The future is bright
With Bethesda Softworks now a part of Xbox, there are 23 studios that will be working to create new content for Xbox and PC players, including next-generation only games that take advantage of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.
Best of all worlds
Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold in one
Xbox Game Pass gives you access to over 200 games for one monthly fee. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also adds Xbox Live Gold to the package so you can play online with your friends. You also get access to EA Play.
Xbox Series X/S
I wish Alpha Dog Games had been acquired a few years ago, back when Microsoft still had Windows Phone and you could get achievements by playing your mobile games.
One point to consider for the mid-term: MS Believes in Remasters. When the deal closes they won't just own the games the studios are working on and their old games as they now exist but also the underlying Franchise IP. Backwards compatibility is one way to exploit the existing games in the near term but they can also rework the older games that have never been on console. The business case for bring the acclaimed early games to console is pretty strong. Besides, for Gamepass to reach its potential it needs a deep and steady stream on new content and remasters/reworkings are going to be faster and cheaper to add to the catalog than new originals.
Get the best of Windows Central in in your inbox, every day!
Thank you for signing up to Windows Central. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.