Bethesda has announced its first big expansion since being bought by Microsoft, with an ex-Naughty Dog dev acting as senior designer.
Microsoft’s purchase of Bethesda for $7.5 billion is clearly going to go down as the most shocking news story of the year, but it’ll be a long time until Bethesda’s new owners have any real influence on the games they make.
For starters, the acquisition won’t be finalised until next year, so until then Bethesda will be working essentially unchanged and will have to honour existing business deals, such as upcoming games Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo being PlayStation console exclusives for the first year.
They’ll also continue with existing expansion plans, which it’s just been revealed include a new satellite studio for Elder Scrolls Online makers ZeniMax Online.
ZeniMax Online is one of the few times the name of Bethesda’s parent company has been used in public, and the team has been very successful with their MMO based on the Elder Scrolls universe.
Apart from helping out a bit with Fallout 76 they’ve not done anything else (MMOs are kind of a full-time job) and so they’ve announced they’ve set-up a new studio to work on a new IP.
The new office will be in San Diego, California with Naughty Dog veteran Quentin Cobb coming on board as senior game designer.
The existing ZeniMax Online studio is in Maryland, on the east coast of the US, so the two couldn’t be further apart geographically, suggesting a large degree of autonomy.
There’s no clue as to what kind of game the new IP might involve and while the obvious guess would be another MMO there’s nothing so far to suggest that.
Cobb helped out on the story campaign of The Last Of Us and Uncharted 4 but he’s primarily a multiplayer designer, having also worked at H1Z1 developer Daybreak – so that probably gives the best indication of what his new project might be.
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