Sponsored By

For Microsoft, the next several years of releases from Bethesda were too good to not snatch up the entire developer.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

September 19, 2023

2 Min Read
Key art for Bethesda's Fallout 3, showing a member of the Brotherhood of Steel.

A number of Bethesda games were revealed to be in the works in the pages of Microsoft's recently leaked documents from its trial with the FTC. Among those leaked projects include unannounced titles like Dishonored 3 and a remaster of Fallout 3

In mid-2020 as it was in the process of acquiring Bethesda owner ZeniMax, the Xbox maker was shown a list of projects and DLC that would be released from then and up to the 2024 fiscal year. By now, the list is several years old and many of these saw their release dates shuffled around due to the COVID pandemic and individual delays.

The list also contains Microsoft's projected individual revenue forecasts for each listed project. MachineGames' Indiana Jones game was projected to earn a starting revenue of $230 million during 2022's fiscal year, while the Oblivion remaster was projected for $190 million in the same period.

The list covers both console and mobile titles, though the list of mobile projects is considerably smaller. Interestingly, a number of console titles go completely unnamed. One is simply dubbed "Licensed IP Game," and two others are codenamed Project Kestrel (with an expansion also listed) and Project Platinum.

Several titles like Hi-Fi Rush (labeled "Project Hibiki" in the documents) and Starfield have already released, while others have yet to even be announced. Among those in the latter category include a remaster for 2006's Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and a project dubbed Doom: Year Zero.

What is Bethesda's place in Xbox's grand design?

Of all the developers Microsoft has acquired in recent years, Bethesda has raised some of the biggest questions. It's only this year that we're truly seeing the results of that acquisition play out with Starfield and Redfall back in May. 

The rundown of ZeniMax titles shows how much Bethesda had to offer Microsoft in terms of games, which we know it's always on the hunt for in order to boost Xbox Game Pass. Through the service, it appears that Starfield and Hi-Fi Rush have both seen some measure of success. 

Microsoft's been candid before about saying it'll be selective with what Bethesda games it keeps for itself and what becomes multiplatform. It isn't entirely surprising to hear that Arkane was looking at making Dishonored 3, but the likely caveat is it would be a Game Pass title due to the poor sales of Dishonored 2 in 2016.

Likewise, Bethesda's never really specified how well Tango Gameworks' Ghostwire: Tokyo did, sales-wise. But with high player numbers following its release on Game Pass in April, it seems plausible it also becomes Game Pass exclusive, in turn making players associate Tango and Arkane with the service going forward. 

Whatever groove Microsoft appears to have found itself in with Bethesda, the moves here should provide insight into how it'll treat games from the larger subsidiaries, particularly Activision Blizzard should that deal truly finalize.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like