Bethesda Softworks LLC

Moby ID: 171

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Bethesda Softworks LLC is a Rockville, Maryland, based game developer and publisher which was founded in 1986 by Christopher Weaver.

In 1994, the company became known as the "entertainment software division" of Media Technology Limited, an international engineering research and development firm founded by members of the Architecture Machine Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), of which Chris Weaver was CEO.

From Christopher Weaver (Jan 29, 2002):

"I founded Bethesda in 1986. To the best of our knowledge (and Johnny Wilson agrees with this so you can assume this information is reasonably accurate) we invented physics-based sports games. Our Gridiron! football program (for Amiga and Atari) was not statistically based but built to incorporate a bounded system of man-made rules operating within a physics-based world engine. So impressive was this novel system that Trip Hawkins, then President of Electronic Arts, asked Bethesda to become an affiliate and help design their "new" football game, John Madden Football."

"So, the best selling football game of all time was based in part upon Bethesda's design and physics-based approach to its Gridiron! game."

"Similarly, Bethesda created the Terminator series, years before id came up with Doom, and also introduced The Elder Scrolls series of RPG's starting with Arena, then Daggerfall and the soon-to-be-released (March/April 2002) third chapter, Morrowind. The Elder Scrolls series set new standards for large scale role-playing and influenced the RPG community in everything from single player to massively multiplayer games that were to follow."

"You may also be interested to learn that Bethesda Softworks is one of the last surviving private software publishers that was one of the original industry veterans in the 1980's such as EA, Origin, Sierra, Legend, etc. The fact that Bethesda is still publishing hit games (such as Morrowind) 17 years after its founding says a lot. While others around it have died or been swallowed up, Bethesda keeps marching to its own drummer..."

In 1999, Bethesda was acquired by ZeniMax Media Inc. when Media Technology Limited sold its stock to get additional development funds. Weaver and Robert Altman were the founders of the successor company.

The company's internal development division is Bethesda Game Studios and was established in 2001.

On 21 September 2020, Microsoft acquired Bethesda and all its studios.

Credited on 218 Games from 1986 to 2023

Displaying most recent · View all

The Elder Scrolls: Castles (2023 on Android)
Starfield (2023 on Windows, Xbox Series, Windows Apps...)
Starfield: Constellation Edition (2023 on Xbox Series, Windows Apps, Windows)
Starfield: Digital Premium Edition (2023 on Windows, Windows Apps, Xbox Series...)
Quake II (2023 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One...)
Redfall (2023 on Windows, Xbox Series, Windows Apps)
Redfall: Bite Back Edition (2023 on Windows Apps, Xbox Series, Windows)
Hi-Fi Rush (2023 on Windows, Xbox Series, Windows Apps)
Hi-Fi Rush (Deluxe Edition) (2023 on Windows, Windows Apps, Xbox One...)
Fallout 76: The Pitt Deluxe Edition (2022 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Windows Apps...)
Fallout Legacy (Relaunch) (2022 on Windows)
Ghostwire: Tokyo (2022 on Windows, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series...)
Ghostwire: Tokyo - Deluxe Edition (2022 on Windows, Xbox Series, Xbox Cloud Gaming...)
Ghostwire: Tokyo - Prelude: The Corrupted Casefile (2022 on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Anniversary Edition (2021 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One...)
Deathloop (2021 on Windows, PlayStation 5, Windows Apps...)
Deathloop (Deluxe Edition) (2021 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series, Windows Apps...)
Doom: Slayers Collection (2021 on Nintendo Switch)
Quake (2021 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch...)
The Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood (2021 on Windows, Macintosh, PlayStation 4...)

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History +

September 21st, 2020

Became part of Xbox Game Studios through the acquisition of parent company ZeniMax Media.

July 12th, 2004

Bethesda licenses the Fallout franchise from Interplay to develop and publish Fallout 3.

December 13th, 2002

Bethesda's founder & former CEO, Christopher S. Weaver, files a $1.2 million lawsuit against ZeniMax Media Inc. for breach of contract.

July 2001

Parent company Media Technology Limited, including Bethesda, acquired by ZeniMax Media Inc.

ZeniMax changes Bethesda's logo.


The company becomes known as the "entertainment software division" of Media Technology Limited.

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Trivia +

The German online magazine 4Players named Bethesda as Best Developer of 2011.

Contact information (2012):

Bethesda Softworks LLC

a ZeniMax Media company

1370 Piccard Drive, Suite 120

Rockville, MD 20850


Phone: (301) 926-8300

Fax: (301) 990-7025

Related Web Sites +


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