Bethesda Game Studios, a subsidiary of ZeniMax Media, was founded in 1985 by Christopher Weaver in Bethesda, Maryland.
They had a hand in developing the first Madden NFL for EA in 1988 and developed a number of other licensed games (including Home Alone), but would not reach true success until the first game of The Elder Scrolls series, Arena, was released in 1994.
They went on to release several Terminator games, including one of the first fully-3D games, Skynet (released several months before Quake), before continuing the Elder Scrolls series with Daggerfall in 1996. Daggerfall was notoriously buggy and commercially unsuccessful, and after releasing two equally unsuccessful spin-off games (TES Legends: Battlespire and TES Adventures: Redguard), Bethesda was looking at bankruptcy.
Luckily, along came Zenimax Media with some big bags of cash. Since then, Bethesda has reached new heights of commercial and critical success, although its tendency to completely rebuild its games from the ground up with each sequel has created an incredibly Broken Base.
Games and series developed by Bethesda Game Studios:
- The Elder Scrolls franchise
- Fallout 3
- Call of Cthulhu Dark Corners of the Earth