Bethesda Game Studios
IndustryVideo games
Founded2001; 21 years ago (2001)
Key people
Number of employees
420+[1] (2021)
ParentBethesda Softworks
SubsidiariesSee § Subsidiaries

Bethesda Game Studios is an American video game developer and a studio of ZeniMax Media based in Rockville, Maryland. The company was established in 2001 as the spin-off of Bethesda Softworks' development unit, with Bethesda Softworks itself retaining a publishing function. The studio is led by Todd Howard as executive producer, Ashley Cheng as managing director, and Angela Browder as studio director. Bethesda Game Studios operates three satellite studios, one in Montreal and two in Texas, and employs 420 people as of March 2021.


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] Initially, BGS had around 40 people.[1]

By 2008, Bethesda Game Studios was considered one of the industry’s top developers on the reputation of the Elder Scrolls fantasy universe and the critically acclaimed Fallout 3. Bethesda had created a unique role for itself, “spending years to create massive, open-world, single-player RPGs — hardly a booming genre in the industry at large — to great success, bringing a once-niche PC genre to a broad multiplatform audience,” wrote Gamasutra in their year-end best of list.[3]

On December 9, 2015, ZeniMax Media announced the formation of Bethesda Game Studios Montreal, a new Bethesda Game Studios location in Montreal, Quebec. Led by Yves Lachance, the former head of Behaviour Interactive, the studio was set to broaden the portfolio of games across all gaming platforms.[4]

On March 9, 2018, Austin, Texas-based BattleCry Studios, another ZeniMax Media subsidiary, was rebranded as Bethesda Game Studios Austin.[5]

On August 10, 2018, Escalation Studios was rebranded as Bethesda Game Studios Dallas.[6]

ZeniMax Media was acquired by Microsoft for US$7.5 billion in March 2021 and became part of Xbox Game Studios.[7][8]


Games developed

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, most of which have been commercially and critically successful.[9][10]

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.[11] 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.[12] On May 30, 2018, Fallout 76 was announced.[13] 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. During the 2021 Xbox/Bethesda Games Showcase, Starfield was announced to be releasing exclusively for PC and Xbox Series X/S. It has a planned release for the first half of 2023.[14][15] On June 14, 2022, Howard confirmed that Fallout 5 would start development after the completion of The Elder Scrolls VI, with the latter currently in the pre-production phase of development.[16]

Year Title Genre(s) Platform(s)
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-playing Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
2008 Fallout 3
2011 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Microsoft Windows, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One
2015 Fallout Shelter Simulation Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One
Fallout 4 Action role-playing Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
2016 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S
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
2020 The Elder Scrolls: Blades Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch[17]
2023 Starfield Microsoft Windows, Xbox Series X/S
TBA The Elder Scrolls VI TBA TBA
TBA Fallout 5 TBA TBA

Expansion packs

Year Title Game Platform(s)
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



  1. ^ a b "Bethesda Joins Xbox – Roundtable". YouTube. March 11, 2021. Event occurs at 1:02:27. Archived from the original on December 15, 2021. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  2. ^ "The History of Bethesda Game Studios - Elder Scrolls / Fallout Documentary". June 5, 2018. Archived from the original on December 10, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018 – via YouTube.
  3. ^ a b Carless, Simon; Remo, Chris; Nutt, Christian; Alexander, Leigh; Eric, Caoili (December 31, 2008). "Gamasutra's Best Of 2008". Gamasutra. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  4. ^ Kato, Matthew (December 9, 2015). "Bethesda Opens New Studio In Montreal". Game Informer. Archived from the original on December 12, 2015. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  5. ^ Dring, Christopher (March 9, 2018). "BattleCry Studios becomes third Bethesda Game Studios office". Archived from the original on March 9, 2018. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  6. ^ Fogel, Stefanie (August 10, 2018). "Escalation Studios Is Now Bethesda Game Studios Dallas". Variety. Archived from the original on August 10, 2018. Retrieved August 10, 2018.
  7. ^ Bass, Dina; Schreier, Jason (September 21, 2020). "Microsoft to Buy Bethesda for $7.5 Billion to Boost Xbox". Bloomberg News. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  8. ^ Robinson, Andy (March 9, 2021). "Microsoft confirms its Bethesda acquisition is complete and 'some games' will be exclusive". Video Games Chronicle. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  9. ^ Petty, Jared (June 14, 2016). "Bethesda Says Two Upcoming Games Are as Big as Skyrim and Fallout". IGN. Archived from the original on October 31, 2016. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  10. ^ Davidson, John (February 18, 2017). "Bethesda's Todd Howard Hints at 3 New Games". Glixel. Archived from the original on February 18, 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  11. ^ Makuch, Eddie (February 17, 2017). "Skyrim Director Teases Next Mobile Game". GameSpot. Archived from the original on February 22, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  12. ^ Chalk, Andy (June 14, 2016). "The Elder Scrolls 6 is in development, Todd Howard confirms". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on May 1, 2018. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  13. ^ Schreier, Jason (May 30, 2018). "Bethesda Announces Fallout: 76". Kotaku. Archived from the original on June 3, 2018. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  14. ^ Makuch, Eddie (June 13, 2021). "Starfield Release Date Set For November 11, 2022 As Exclusive To Xbox And PC". GameSpot.
  15. ^ Stanton, Rich (May 12, 2022). "Of course Starfield is delayed—what did you expect?". PC Gamer.
  16. ^ Skrebels, Joe (June 14, 2022). "Todd Howard Confirms Fallout 5 Is Coming After Elder Scrolls 6". IGN. Retrieved June 14, 2022.
  17. ^ Fenlon, Wes (June 11, 2018). "The Elder Scrolls: Blades is a free-to-play RPG coming to PC and mobile this fall". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on June 11, 2018. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  18. ^ "SpikeTV Video Game Awards 2011". Spike (TV network). Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  19. ^ "Nominees | The Game Awards 2015". The Game Awards. Ola Balola. November 12, 2015. Archived from the original on November 14, 2015. Retrieved November 13, 2015.