Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Wayback Wednesday: Bethesda!

In honor of Bethesda publishing The Elder Scrolls Online this week, we're going to take a look back at their glorious history!

It all started in Bethesda, Maryland (The company's namesake. Duh) where, in 1985, Christopher Weaver founded Bethesda Softworks. A year later, they made their first game, Gridiron!, a sports game, and after that they started making many games in the next few years, including the Wayne Gretzky Hockey series and many Terminator games including (Funnily enough) The Terminator and Terminator 2029. However, in 1994 came their biggest moment, when they started the Elder Scrolls series off with The Elder Scrolls: Arena, a great start to the series that introduced the importance of side quests to video games. After developing more low profile titles, in 1996 they churned out another Elder Scrolls game, The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall, which has the largest video game map ever.

Come 1999 and Bethesda was bought out by ZeniMax Media Inc, the team that are developing The Elder Scrolls Online. After that, Bethesda once again focused on sport simulators, developing games in the PBA Tour Bowling and IHRA Racing series, until 2002, when Bethesda developed The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind, which was so successful that it sold 4 million copies and spawned 2 expansion packs! In 2004, Bethesda bought out the Fallout series from Interplay Entertainment, and started development right away for Fallout 3. While they developed it, they released the fourth Elder Scrolls game, The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, which was an amazing success and lauded by critics for it's huge world and beautiful graphics.

The camera is stationed at far end of a long lake inlet, facing inwards. In the near foreground the camera can see tall grass, some deciduous trees, the lake's rocky coast, and a flooded and decaying temple. A tall spire rises from the center of a walled city far in the distance, casting a clear reflection on the lake. The cliff-sides of the mountain range behind the city are indistinct, and fade into the dawn light. The highlights of the morning sky are blown, and tendrils of skylight feather objects in the foreground.

2 years later, and Fallout 3 was released, and everybody loved it, for it's huge variety and amount of missions (Seriously, good luck finishing it!) and a great character development system. Also, it sold 4.7 million copies in a week. After that, Bethesda went quiet all the way until 2009, where they released Fallout 3 indirect sequel Fallout: New Vegas, and it did well, with many improvements made over the last game and many more missions. Then, 2 years later, arguably Bethesda's biggest game was released...

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It was Bethesda's golden jewel, with up to 100 hours of gameplay (Plus downloadable content!) and an amazing character customization system that pretty much let you be whatever you wanted to be. Now, after releasing DLC for Skyrim, we've got to wait until later this week, where The Elder Scrolls Online will be released....

So, for making amazing franchises like The Elder Scrolls and Fallout, Bethesda, we salute you!

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