Bethesda, id parent buys Arkane Studios

ZeniMax Media acquires Arx Fatalis creator and BioShock 2 contributor, tasked with new unannounced project.


QuakeCon 2010 kicked off in its customary way today with a keynote address from id Software president Todd Hollenshead and chief technical officer John Carmack. However, rather than leading off the show with news related to id's lineup of games, it was parent company ZeniMax Media that took the stage to announce its latest acquisition, Arkane Studios.

Arkane entered the scene in 2002 with Arx Fatalis.
Arkane entered the scene in 2002 with Arx Fatalis.

id and Bethesda Game Studios' newest sister company is perhaps best known for its role-playing game Arx Fatalis, which earned critical acclaim upon its release for the PC in 2002. The Lyon, France-based outfit also handled the original edition of Ubisoft's Dark Messiah of Might and Magic for the PC, which debuted to a tepid reception in 2006. Most recently, Arkane assisted 2K Marin with the single-player campaign for the well-regarded BioShock 2, which was released in February.

Along with announcing the acquisition, ZeniMax said that Arkane was currently at work on an unannounced project, to be published by Bethesda Softworks. No details on the project--such as genre, platforms, or release date--were revealed.

Arkane's mystery title joins a number of other in-development works under ZeniMax's umbrella. Games to be published by Bethesda Softworks include Splash Damage's Brink, Obsidian Entertainment's Fallout: New Vegas, and inXile's Hunted: The Demon's Forge. The publisher is also rumored to be at work on a massively multiplayer online installment in the Elder Scrolls franchise. As for id, the studio's announced projects include Rage and Doom 4.

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Avatar image for vadagar1

or TES with dark messiah goodness

Avatar image for vadagar1

dark messiah 2 plz

Avatar image for Sagacious_Tien

Sounds to me like a good acquisition. Don't know why the cost is not reported though - I doubt it's a huge acquisition. Perhaps they can help iD with Doom 4 - the team is quite small and the game will come out faster with more help.

Avatar image for SirMordredX

@drummzer965 Well I'm just expressing my opinion; they're not a bad developer in my opinion - and also, I never said that you're a child - I said you MIGHT have become a gamer in the 2000's...not that you're too young or anything: ever since the release of Alpha Protocol everyone has been bashing Obsidian and forgetting that a lot of developers make mistakes well as WHO they are talking about. Obsidian have proven themselves already in my book; and many developers go through hard-times or make development mistakes - this does not make them a bad company. Oh, and no I didn't play Pac-Man in the arcades; I was too busy playing the Might and Magic and King's Quest series on my old machine. ;) P.S. It's Brink. Not Blink.

Avatar image for drummzer965

@sirmordredx Another sidenote, why is it everyone online thinks that if someone disagrees with them, they are "a child" or too young to understand. I am one of the people who was around for the games most people still cling to.... but MOVE ON. No one cares that you played Pac-man in the arcades and "nothing will ever beat that." It's just ridiculous to assume that because you are older than someone, you know better than them. That's something we learned from the earlier generations that simply isn't true. In fact, I find myself becoming more and more ignorant as I get older, and believe me, I see it in others too, Ok I'm off my soapbox

Avatar image for drummzer965

@sirmordredx Just because a game developer USED to make great games (and yes, I played Baldurs Gate, and Fallout 1 and 2, and loved them; even though that wasn't technically obsidian anyway) doesn't mean they have a free pass for life. Look at Infinity Ward, they've been riding on the success of Modern Warfare for around 3 years now, and haven't made a good game since. Just copies of the same game, expansion packs, really. Good game developers can't get lazy. And that's what Obsidian, Blizzard, Infinity Ward, etc. etc. have been doing for years. You can't just take the same winning formula and apply it over, and over, and OVER. On a side note, I would've also included Bethesda in the earlier sentence (Fallout 3 was slightly mediocre compared to TES 2, 3,4; in my opinion), but I think they are doing something really cool with Blink. They didn't let me down.

Avatar image for SirMordredX

GREAT news - if Arkane worked with Bethesda on the combat of TES 5, then we'd have the ultimate combo of Dark Messiah's Combat and Oblivion's role-playing - perfect. @drummzer965 I'm really sick of you Obsidian bashers - you don't even realize who you're talking about; maybe that's because you only became a gamer in the 2000's. Obsidian used to be Black Isle - all the key people from Black Isle work there now - wait, you don't even know who Black Isle are...? Baldurs Gate: DA, Icewind Dale, Planescape, Fallout 1 and 2 - ring any bells? No? [Sighs].

Avatar image for shani_boy101

Bethesda, please just quit buying other developers and make Elder Scrolls V!(with a new graphics engine at least, and also PS Move functionality)

Avatar image for danielkennedy91

bring out Elders Scrolls V!! but not a MMO please :D

Avatar image for slyhawke

@giant11 & mxero First off, let me start by saying "Thank you". I almost thought I'd get through all these comments without hearing a bit on The Crossing. Now I'll admit I don't know exactly who controls the IP for The Crossing or whether this new development could spell disaster for the whole thing. What I will say is I hope AS keeps it in the back of their minds. Perhaps this leg up could be just what the game needs to get back into development. Don't give up hope just yet. Wait till the project announcement. *fingers crossed*

Avatar image for drummzer965

@syafiqjabar Everything you said about Obsidian is completely false. Look how many Obsidian titles have looked "deep" and engaging, and completely flopped. KOTOR 2 (which was in no way better than one, I have no idea where you are getting that), Alpha Protocol, Neverwinter Nights 2, just to name a few. And I have a feeling New Vegas will be the same type of carbon-copy/flop of the others mentioned.

Avatar image for joeborg14

Outside of their house-developed games, Bethesda Softworks hasn't had much luck with publishing (Wet, Rogue Warrior lol), but hopefully this studio and other studios with near releases (including Rage and Fallout: NV) will have more success!

Avatar image for Agent_StarFire

I would like a new elder scrolls but i would prefer it it was made by the same people who made tes IV

Avatar image for giant11

I guess this is the end for 'The Crossing' :(

Avatar image for syafiqjabar

Rippedentrails New Vegas is by Obsidian. If anything their games are all about depth. Even the broken KotOR2 that they made has better stories and characters than the first one. And Mask of The Betrayer is just amazing; they show that the people responsible for making Planescape: Torment great is still with Obsidian. Your comment is surprisingly ignorant for someone who cares about depth and RPGs. Did your last look at New Vegas was when the game was first announced. Did you say what you say because of just glancing at the screenshots? Deus Ex is no different from Battlefield, then, because they are both first-person games?

Avatar image for The-Longshot

the time has come, they cant ignore the roar of the fans any longer, its been 5 years since Oblivion, now its time they announce the 5th installment in the series, (please,) and with this news it seems it may only be a short time now before they do. There shall be much rejoicing as soon s they do.

Avatar image for nonfanboygamer1

This is ok with me.

Avatar image for Rippedentrails

@Dazza102 I know what you mean, I can tell already that Fallout New Vegas is going to no depth in it..

Avatar image for lock445


Avatar image for Dazza102

Don't come complaining when every game becomes an Oblivion Clone. There's a little thing called "Depth" that people like in their RPGs.. and Bethesda just doesn't understand that. I hope the tallent can turn the publisher arround and make them realize why people liked Morrowind over Oblivion. AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP USING GAMEBRYO! You have IDTech now.. USE THAT!

Avatar image for SuperMegaMaster

Elder Scrolls 5 would be great!!!!!!

Avatar image for Pete5506

A new Elder Scrolls would be a great thing to hear

Avatar image for TechnologoDoom

Elder Scrolls 5 please please please please! pretty please!

Avatar image for toolz92

I finally got around to beating Elder Scrolls 4, getting 5 so soon would be a dream come true!

Avatar image for LeoLex_

Elder Scrolls 5 BABY!!!!!!!

Avatar image for CoRiNi

bethesda should first release Elder Scrolls 5 . I think it's about time , ok we love fallout , but sorry , nothing is comparable to Elder Scrolls !!

Avatar image for somberfox

Beh, Arx Fatalis is a mediocre Ultima Underworld wannabe. Bad choice to buy them.

Avatar image for Targzissian

Arx Fatalis... I remember sneaking around in dark tunnels and tracing out runes with strokes of my mouse. I didn't get very far before I bored of the game, but it was clear that some original thought went into it.

Avatar image for langrisser2005

Arx Fatalis was a good game! Anyway shouldn't the next elder scrolls be coming out soonish?

Avatar image for lookin_boy

cool beans

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

You know what I remembered most about Arx Fatalis? The cooking! If there ever was any game that actually made making digital food engrossing, that was it. Also, in a statement relevant to one of Bethesda's IP that has plenty of food, Arx Fatalis at least showed some respect for the foodstuffs, which can mainly be turned into food exclusively. In Oblivion, the player can make poisons out of apples and lettuces - mortifying for me indeed. The player in Oblivion: "Dear grocer, give me 25 watermelons!" Grocer: "Oh, someone's planning a great picnic!" The player: "No, ma'am, I just learned that << LINK REMOVED >>! Jolly good for my next romp into Oblivion, would it not?" Grocer: "Ah, that is fine indeed! If you would not mind, why not have a bunch of pears and some boar meat to round out your lunch basket for your otherworldly friends?" The player: "Splendid suggestion indeed, my good woman! They make plenty good fodder to << LINK REMOVED >>! If you ask me, they are too scrawny for their own good!"

Avatar image for mxero

I would've want valve to buy them instead of bethesda so they can continue working on the crossing.

Avatar image for KamuiFei

Elder Scrolls 5! And please don't make it an MMO -_-; I'll have FFXIV and Guild Wars 2 to fill that gap.

Avatar image for eyelickED

oh please be elder scrolls 5

Avatar image for GAMERALL

Optimistic: Good news! with all these houses under it's belt, they can truly make some great games that raises the tides of the otherwise calm river of game industry etc etc etc etc...... Pessimistic: Activision (v2.0) is on the waaaaaaaaay! What do you think? Thumb up for Opti Thumb down for Pessi

Avatar image for Emraldo

ohmygodohmygod TES V with Dark Messiah of Might & Magic combat is an actual possibility!!

Avatar image for fLaMbOaStiN

So i found Elder Scrolls Amn or something of that nature.. It's a old p/c game i bought but never installed cuz i was so hooked to Diablo 2.. I'am actually interested in installing it now since i've looked up on the internet and it's suppose to be a really good game.. Should i install and play or no?

Avatar image for Nosferatu2894

Hey, maybe it'll be... No, I really need to stop getting my hopes up.

Avatar image for reeree746

I'm getting that Elder Scrolls itch. Too bad I've put it over 300 hours into Fallout 3 and Oblivion.

Avatar image for En_Sabah_Nur

How cool would it be to have TES: 5 and another Arx Fatalis game. Too bad Arx isn't backwards compatible on the 360. I remember when I first played it and thought it was pretty cool how the magic system was, and the fact that you can mix ingredients to make a pie, and give a toss near the fire, and you could watch it as it "cooked" that was pretty awesome. I can only dream that something like that would be in the next Elder Scrolls game.

Avatar image for Reuwsaat

ZeniMax haven't disappointed me yet. I hope they keep up with their amazing work.

Avatar image for Rob_101

another one under the corporate tree....

Avatar image for jigsaw4life

give mah tes 5

Avatar image for RyuRanVII

Arx Fatalis was amazing. I really want a sequel to that game.

Avatar image for kris9031998