All Bethesda and ZeniMax IPs Now Owned by Microsoft

All Bethesda and ZeniMax IPs Now Owned by Microsoft - Article

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 October 2020 / 4,204 Views

In case you haven't heard one of the biggest gaming acquisitions in history occurred today. Microsoft has acquired Bethesda Softworks parent company ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion. Xbox Game Studios will grow from 15 to 23 studios. 

The list of developers under the ZeniMax umbrella now part of Xbox Game Studios includes Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios.

Here we will be providing a quick rundown of what games each studio is best known for and is now owned by Microsoft.

Skyrim

Bethesda Game Studios

Bethesda Game Studios is one of the two most well-known developers of ZeniMax. They were established in 2001 when ZeniMax decided to spin off the Bethesda development team from the publishing team. 

The studio would be best known for two franchises, The Elder Scrolls and Fallout. They have developed and released The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Fallout 3, Fallout 4, Fallout 76, and Fallout Shelter. Two confirmed upcoming titles include new IP Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI.

Doom Eternal

id Software

The second most well-known developer that was owned by ZeniMax, id Softare best known for popularizing the first-person shooter with hits such as Wolfenstein 3D and Doom was founded in 1991 and acquired by ZeniMax in 2009.

They are also known for Quake, Rage, and the classic platformer Commander Keen. Their most recent releases include Doom Eternal in March 2020 and Rage 2 in May 2019.

Dishonored

Arkane Studios

The French developer was founded in 1999 and acquired by ZeniMax in 2010. Arx Fatalis, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, and KarmaStar saw moderate success as their first three titles. Once acquired they found more success with releases such as the Dishonored series and 2017's Prey. They have also worked on id Software's Wolfenstein series with the release of Wolfenstein: Youngblood as a co-developer.

Arkane's next game, Deathloop, is currently coming out as a PlayStation 5 console exclusive, as well as PC. A deal with Sony was made before the Microsoft acquisition, which Microsoft is honoring.  

Wolfenstein

MachineGames

Swedish developer, MachineGames, was founded in 2009 and acquired in 2010. They have been tasked with the development of the Wolfenstein franchise since 2014's Wolfenstein: The New Order. They released an expansion pack for Quake, called Dimension of the Past, in 2016. 

MachineGames' most recent releases include 2019's Wolfenstein: Youngblood, a followup to The New Colossus, and the virtual reality game, Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot.

The Evil Within

Tango Gameworks

Japanese developer, Tango Gameworks, was founded in 2010 and acquired by ZeniMax later the same year. They are best known for two The Evil Within games, which released in 2014 and 2017. 

The next title from the developer, Ghostwire: Tokyo is due out in 2021 for the PlayStation 5 and PC. Similar to Deathloop, a deal with Sony was made before the Microsoft acquisition, which Microsoft is honoring. 

Fallout 76

ZeniMax Online Studios

The Maryland-based developer, ZeniMax Online Studios, was founded in 2007 to specialize in massively multiplayer online games. They have released The Elder Scrolls Online and the controversial Fallout 76.

The studio is also working on a new Commander Keen for Android and iOS.

Rune II

Roundhouse Studios

The Wisconsin-based developer, Roundhouse Studios, was founded in November 2019 by ZeniMax. Human Head Studios closed its doors before the entire team was rehired by Bethesda as Roundhouse Studios. 

There is no word yet on what games the studio is working on. As Human Head Studios they developed Prey (2006), The Quiet Man, and Rune II.

Alpha Dog

The Novia Scotia-based developer, Alpha Dog, was founded in 2012 and acquired in October 2019. They are best known as a mobile studio who developed the real-time strategy game MonstroCity: Rampage and action role-playing game Wraithborne.


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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16 Comments

OTBWY (on 21 September 2020)

This is such a huge gain for Xbox. Still can't believe it.


Spade (on 21 September 2020)

I'm still shook. Been hours.


  • +3
coolbeans (on 21 September 2020)

They'd be foolish not to make a mascot racer or fighter now.


shikamaru317 (on 21 September 2020)

Xbox All-Stars Karting developed by Sumo Digital please!


  • +2
Moonhero (on 22 September 2020)

Heartbroken by this...


Shiken (on 21 September 2020)

Huge news for XBox, and right before pre orders go live too!


SecondWar (on 21 September 2020)

*Xbox


  • 0
Srex117 (on 21 September 2020)

Great thing that come from this is that will will now have Doom slayer in Gears games, maybe even Gears 5, and who knows maybe even Praetor armor for Halo Infinite


hiccupthehuman (on 22 September 2020)

After all these years Microsoft finally has a Japanese developer <3


m0ney (on 22 September 2020)

ekbok noo


EnricoPallazzo (on 22 September 2020)

Looking at all those IP's, damn, 6.5 Billion looks like a steal


nex (on 22 September 2020)

damn....DAMN! Ok now itīs your turn Sony.


AFattyGamer (on 21 September 2020)

Swag on them Microsoft. Flex that 1 trillion net worth. Put that pressure on Sony :) Make Sony hungry. If we get a hungry Sony from back in the Sony PS2 days we're in for a treat. This acquisition is utterly insane. I know Sony will respond. Will Sony be hungry enough to buy Konami or SEGA I hear about on Twitter? Lets see. The 9th gen flames have only just erupted :')


SanAndreasX (on 21 September 2020)

Sony wasn't hungry in the PS2 days, they were swimming in cash. They were steamrolling Microsoft and Nintendo effortlessly.


  • +3
LivncA_Dis3 (on 21 September 2020)

hahahahaha let them have zenimax, they haven't had a heavy hitter since skyrim, fallout 4 wasn't as good and recent releases weren't sellers either, doom 2016 and doom eternal might have decent sales, but if elder scroll 6 isn't a skyrim then this is a money down the drain situation


shikamaru317 (on 21 September 2020)

Ummm, not sure what you are on about. Fallout 4 was a huge success, it didn't review quite as well as Fallout 3 or Skyrim did but it is the bestselling Fallout game of all-time, Bethesda announced that it actually sold more copies in the first 2 years then Skyrim did in it's first 2 years, which means it's on pace to sell 30m+ lifetime. Fallout 76 wasn't quite as successful but it still has alot of active players and is bringing in alot of microtransaction revenue. Elder Scrolls Online is the 5th most played MMO currently I believe, after WoW, Runescape, Final Fantasy 14, and Destiny 2. Doom 2016 got a GOTY nomination at The Game Awards and sold over 2m copies on PC alone in the first year, probably like 7m sales now across all platforms since it was on all 3 consoles. Wolfenstein 2 got a high 80's meta and sold nearly 2m now on PC alone, it's also on PS4, XB1, and Switch. Evil Within 1 sales were comparable to the bestselling Resident Evil games, on PC at least. Dishonored 2 got a high 80's meta and sold nearly 2m now on PC alone.

Bethesda has plenty of big IP's. They also have their own engine, idTech, which will allow MS to move some of their other 1st party studios off of Unreal 4 so that they don't have to pay Epic 5% royalties any more. Hardly a money down the drain scenario for MS.


  • +2