Every Dev That Xbox Game Studios Now Owns, From Bethesda To Id Software

Microsoft's big new acquisition of the Bethesda portfolio includes a whopping eight studios, covering a wide array of game franchises.


Microsoft has now officially acquired Bethesda and its parent company ZeniMax. The $7.5 billion deal initially announced last year includes eight new studios. And for the most part, these studios have strong individual identities for their own unique styles of games, which helps grant a clearer picture of how they'll fit into the overall Xbox Game Studios portfolio.

Bethesda Game Studios is the largest of the set, and it includes huge first-person RPG franchises like Fallout and Elder Scrolls. While a date for Elder Scrolls VI has yet to be determined, Bethesda has been periodically upgrading and re-releasing Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and it's been making improvements to its online game Fallout 76. The studio also has Starfield on the horizon, though we haven't seen exactly what it is. ZeniMax Online Studios has also been a part of the development of Fallout 76 and Elder Scrolls Online.

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Now Playing: Microsoft Acquires Bethesda - GS News Update

Several other studios in the portfolio bring a number of other franchises and genre experience. Id Software brings its expertise at hard-rock first-person shooters like Doom, Wolfenstein, and Rage, which have all gotten recent entries. Arkane is the studio behind the Dishonored series and Prey reboot, and it's about to release Deathloop on PS5. And Tango Gameworks has built a reputation as a top-tier horror developer with games like The Evil Within and the upcoming Ghostwire: Tokyo.

In statements issued upon the deal's closing, Microsoft and Bethesda outlined some of what we can expect to result from the acquisition. Xbox boss Phil Spencer addressed the elephant in the room of console exclusives, stating that "some new titles in the future" will be exclusive to Xbox and PC players. Both statements specifically called out Game Pass, Microsoft's subscription initiative, as a big push for Bethesda going forward.

It's unclear so far if games that have no set release dates, like Starfield or Elder Scrolls VI, will become Xbox exclusive or have an exclusivity period. Bethesda is honoring its previous exclusivity commitments on projects that are closer to release, including Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo on PS5.

The full array of studios acquired is an impressive lineup of some of the biggest franchises in gaming. Many recent games were co-developed across multiple studios.

Studios Included In Microsoft's Bethesda Acquisition

  • Bethesda Softworks (publisher)
  • Bethesda Game Studios
    • Fallout 76
    • Elder Scrolls Blades
    • Starfield
    • Elder Scrolls 6
  • id Software
    • Doom (series)
    • Rage (series)
    • Wolfenstein (series)
  • ZeniMax Online Studios
    • Elder Scrolls Online
    • Fallout 76
  • Arkane
    • Dishonored (series)
    • Prey
    • Deathloop
    • Wolfenstein Youngblood
  • MachineGames
    • Wolfenstein Youngblood
  • Tango Gameworks
    • The Evil Within (series)
    • Ghostwire: Tokyo
  • Alpha Dog
    • MonstroCity: Rampage (mobile)
  • Roundhouse Studios (formerly Human Head)
    • Prey

Microsoft has been acquiring game developers quickly over the last few years. Its studios already represented the massive Halo, Gears of War, and Minecraft franchises, along with many studios known for specializing in a particular kind of game--like Obsidian's first-person RPGs or Double Fine's off-the-wall comedy. Bethesda was its largest acquisition to date, roughly tripling its 2014 acquisition of Minecraft studio Mojang. You can see a full listing of all the Xbox Game Studios below.

Xbox Game Studios (new acquisitions bolded)

  • 343 Industries
    • Halo (series)
  • AlphaDog
  • Arkane
  • Bethesda Softworks
  • Bethesda Game Studios
  • Compulsion Games
    • We Happy Few
  • Double Fine Productions
    • Psychonauts 2
  • id Software
  • inExile Entertainment
  • MachineGames
  • Mojang Studios
    • Minecraft (series)
  • Ninja Theory
    • (Hellblade, Bleeding Edge)
  • Obsidian Entertainment
    • (Outer Worlds, Grounded, Avowed)
  • Playground Games
    • Fable, Forza Horizon
  • Rare
    • Sea of Thieves, Everwild
  • Roundhouse Studios
  • Tango Gameworks
  • The Coalition
    • Gears of War (series)
  • The Initiative
    • New IP
  • Turn 10 Studios
    • Forza Motorsport (series)
  • Undead Labs
    • State of Decay (series)
  • World's Edge
    • Age of Empires (series)
  • Xbox Game Studios Publishing
  • ZeniMax Online Studios

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.

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