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Bethesda Softworks, LLC, a ZeniMax Media Company, is a developer and publisher of video games. The company is based in Rockville, Maryland, in the United States. With a broad panoply of games in role-playing, racing, simulation, and sports, Bethesda Softworks' major franchises are distributed worldwide.

History

Bethesda Softworks has been a developer and publisher of interactive entertainment content for over two decades. Founded in 1985 by Christopher Weaver in Bethesda, Maryland and moved to Rockville, Maryland in 1990, Bethesda has a long history of PC and console games. In 1998, Weaver decided to expand the company beyond PC games and into multimedia and invited Robert Altman to help manage the new company. Weaver and Altman co-founded ZeniMax Media Inc. in 1999.

Bethesda is credited with the creation of the first physics-based sports simulation (Gridiron!) in 1986 for the Atari ST, Commodore Amiga and Commodore 64/128, which led to Bethesda's creation of the first Madden NFL game for Electronic Arts. Bethesda's early games scored respectably in the gaming press, earning accolades as "the most accurate and enjoyable simulation of a sport I have ever had the pleasure to play", "the best ice hockey sim yet", for Wayne Gretzky Hockey, and a note that Gridiron! "demands a look."

Despite a long history of development in many genres, Bethesda is perhaps best known for creating The Elder Scrolls RPG series, based upon the original programming of Julian Lefay. The first chapter of the series, entitled The Elder Scrolls: Arena, was released in 1994. Since that time, numerous other chapters have been released. The game's direct sequels, Daggerfall and Morrowind, were released in 1996 and 2002, respectively. Additionally, the game has had several spin-offs: Battlespire (1997), Redguard, (1998) and The Elder Scrolls Travels: Shadowkey (2004). Since that time, numerous other chapters have been released. The latest chapter, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, was released in March, 2006, and received numerous Game of the Year accolades. Bethesda is also known for publishing titles based upon popular movie franchises, including The Terminator, Star Trek, and Pirates of the Caribbean.

In 2004, Bethesda acquired the Fallout franchise from Interplay Productions, and turned the development of Fallout 3 over to Bethesda Game Studios. Fallout 3 was released on October 28, 2008, and has won over 60 Game of the Year Awards — including honors from IGN, the Game Developers’ Choice Awards, and Game Critics Awards. Bethesda has continued to support Fallout 3 with five Downloadable Content Packs — Operation: Anchorage, The Pitt, Broken Steel, Point Lookout, and Mothership Zeta.

Bethesda continues to expand their publishing duties. In 2009, Bethesda plans to release WET and Rogue Warrior. In 2010, Bethesda is publishing Splash Damage’s Brink and Obsidian Entertainment's new Fallout title, Fallout: New Vegas.

On June 24, 2009, Bethesda’s parent company, ZeniMax Media, acquired id Software, whose titles will be published by Bethesda Softworks.

Divisions

Bethesda Game StudiosBethesda Game Studios (BGS) is the in-house development team led by Todd Howard and owned by Bethesda Softworks. Not all BGS titles are published by Bethesda Softworks.

"Bethesda Softworks" is often used to designate games "published" by Bethesda, both BGS projects and those developed externally.

The Elder Scrolls series

The Elder Scrolls Travel series, including Shadowkey, Stormhold and Dawnstar, was co-developed by sister studio Vir2L, another ZeniMax Media company.

List of games by Bethesda Softworks

Games developed and published by Bethesda Softworks

Year Title Genres Platforms
1986 Gridiron! Sports Atari ST, Amiga, Commodore 64
1988 Wayne Gretzky Hockey Sports Amiga, Atari ST, DOS, NES
1990 Wayne Gretzky Hockey 2 Sports DOS
1990 The Terminator Free-form Action, Adventure DOS
1990 Hockey League Simulator Sports management Amiga, DOS
1991 Wayne Gretzky Hockey 3 Sports DOS
1991 Home Alone Action NES
1991 NCAA Basketball: Road To The Final Four ('91/'92 Edition) Sports DOS
1992 Terminator 2029 Action, Strategy DOS
1992 Hockey League Simulator 2 Sports management DOS
1993 The Terminator: Rampage Action DOS
1993 Terminator 2029: Operation Scour Action, Strategy DOS
1993 The Elder Scrolls: Arena Action, Adventure, RPG DOS
1994 Terminator 2029 - The Deluxe CD Edition Action, Strategy DOS
1994 NCAA: Road to the Final Four 2 Sports DOS
1994 Delta V Action, Racing DOS
1995 Terminator: Future Shock Action DOS
1996 SkyNET Action DOS
1996 The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall Adventure, RPG DOS
1997 The Elder Scrolls Legends: Battlespire Action RPG DOS, Microsoft Windows
1997 PBA Bowling Sports Microsoft Windows
1997 XCar: Experimental Racing Racing Simulation DOS
1998 Burnout: Championship Drag Racing Racing DOS
1998 The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard Action RPG Microsoft Windows
1998 Symbiocom Adventure Microsoft Windows
1998 Zero Critical Adventure Microsoft Windows
1999 NIRA Intense Import Drag Racing Racing Microsoft Windows
1999 Skip Barber Racing Racing Microsoft Windows
2000 IHRA Drag Racing Racing Microsoft Windows, PlayStation
2000 PBA Bowling 2 Sports Microsoft Windows
2000 PBA Bowling 2001 Sports Microsoft Windows, Dreamcast (Unreleased but gold-version leaked)
2000 Sea Dogs Adventure Microsoft Windows
2001 IHRA Motorsports Racing Microsoft Windows
2001 IHRA Drag Racing 2 Racing PlayStation 2
2001 Echelon Action, Simulation Microsoft Windows
2002 The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Adventure, RPG Microsoft Windows, Xbox
2002 The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - Collector's Edition Adventure, RPG Microsoft Windows
2002 The Elder Scrolls III: Tribunal Adventure, RPG Microsoft Windows
2003 IHRA Drag Racing 2004 Racing Xbox
2003 Pirates of the Caribbean Adventure Microsoft Windows, Xbox
2003 The Elder Scrolls III: Bloodmoon Adventure, RPG Microsoft Windows
2003 The Elder Scrolls III: Bloodmoon & Tribunal Duopack Adventure, RPG Microsoft Windows
2003 The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - Game of the Year Edition Adventure, RPG Microsoft Windows, Xbox
2003 The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - Platinum Edition Adventure, RPG Xbox
2004 The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - Game of the Year: Platinum Edition Adventure, RPG Xbox
2004 IHRA Drag Professional Racing 2005 Racing Xbox, PlayStation 2
2006 IHRA Drag Racing: Sportsman Edition Racing Microsoft Windows, Xbox, PlayStation 2
2008 Fallout 3 Action RPG Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Games developed by Bethesda Softworks, but externally published

Year Title Genres Platforms Publisher
1991 Home Alone Action NES THQ
1991 Where's Waldo? Puzzle NES THQ
2004 High Rollers Casino Cards, Gambling Xbox Mud Duck Productions
2004 AMF Bowling 2004 Sports Xbox, PlayStation 2 Mud Duck Productions
2006 The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Action RPG Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 2K Games
2007 PlayStation 3 Ubisoft
2007 The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - Game of the Year Edition Action RPG Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PS3 (US) 2K Games (Xbox360), Ubisoft (PS3)

Games published by Bethesda Softworks

The following games were published by Bethesda, but externally developed. (Note: Vir2L is a division of ZeniMax Media Inc., Bethesda's parent company, and Vir2L calls themselves a 'sister company' to Bethesda on their website.)

Year Title Genres Platforms Developer
1998 F-16 Aggressor Vehicle simulation Microsoft Windows Virgin Interactive
1998 Magic and Mayhem Action, Strategy Microsoft Windows Mythos Games
2000 Gromada Action Microsoft Windows Buka Entertainment
2000 Sea Dogs Action, RPG, Simulation, Strategy Microsoft Windows Akella
2001 Magic & Mayhem: The Art of Magic RPG, Strategy Microsoft Windows Mythos Games
2002 Family Card Games Fun Pack Cards PlayStation Mud Duck Productions
2003 Puzznic Puzzle, Action PlayStation Altron
2003 Pirates of the Caribbean RPG Microsoft Windows, Xbox Akella
2003 The Elder Scrolls Travels: Stormhold Adventure, RPG Java and BREW-enabled mobile devices Vir2L, co-published by MFORMA
2004 Powerdrome Racing Xbox, PlayStation 2 Argonaut Games, co-published by Mud Duck Productions
2004 The Elder Scrolls Travels: Dawnstar Adventure, RPG Java and BREW enabled mobile devices Vir2L
2004 The Elder Scrolls Travels: Shadowkey Adventure, RPG N-Gage Vir2L co-published by Nokia
2004 IHRA Drag Racing Multiplayer Racing Java and BREW enabled mobile devices Vir2L, co-published by MFORMA
2005, 2006 Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth Adventure Xbox, Microsoft Windows Headfirst Productions
2006 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow Adventure Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2 7 Studios, Buena Vista Games, co-published by Ubisoft
2006 Star Trek: Encounters Strategy PlayStation 2 4J Studios
2006 Star Trek: Legacy Strategy Microsoft Windows, Xbox Mad Doc Software
2006 Star Trek: Tactical Assault Strategy PSP, Nintendo DS Quicksilver Software
2007 Star Trek: Conquest Strategy Wii, PS2 4J Studios
2008 Bully (Publishing in Japan only) Action PS2, Xbox 360 Rockstar Vancouver, Rockstar New England
2009 WET Third person shooter Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 Artificial Mind and Movement
2009 Rogue Warrior FPS PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 Rebellion Developments
2009 Wheelspin (Publishing in Europe only) Racing Wii Awesome Play
2010 Fallout: New Vegas RPG PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Obsidian Entertainment
2010 Brink FPS PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Splash Damage
2010 DOOM 4 FPS PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 id Software
2010 RAGE FPS Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 id Software


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