On September 21, Microsoft stunned the gaming world when it announced that it had purchased Bethesda for a whopping $7.5 billion. What this means for Bethesda's game lineup — particularly those slated for the PS5 — is unclear. But it does mean that Bethesda now has the potential to develop some extremely interesting titles for the Xbox Series X.
Perhaps these games will be Xbox Series X exclusives; perhaps they'll leverage other Microsoft properties; perhaps they'll be passion projects that the company simply didn't have the resources to do before. Whatever the case, we've compiled a list of Bethesda projects, both confirmed and imagined, that we'd love to see on the Xbox Series X before the end of the next console generation, ranked from "guaranteed" to "don't hold your breath."
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The Elder Scrolls VI
We know that the Elder Scrolls 6 is coming, we just don't know when. So far, all we’ve seen around the Elder Scrolls 6 is a brief trailer backed by a stirring soundtrack that references a tune from previous Elder Scrolls games. The trailer shows a mountainous region that's not Skyrim. From that tiny bit of information, we could speculate that the next Elder Scrolls game could take place in Black Rock, the home of the magic-wielding Bretons. Or perhaps in Hammerfell, the land of the Redguard, a warrior people.
Regardless of where the game is set, we’re expecting a big open world full of things to explore without many restrictions. However, Microsoft also owns Obsidian Entertainment, which has a reputation for making games with very compelling stories. So, there’s hope that Microsoft could bring in some of Obsidian’s writing chops to contribute to the main story, as that’s been an area where the Elder Scrolls games have occasionally stumbled. — Roland Moore-Colyer
Much like The Elder Scrolls 6, all we’ve seen from Starfield is just a teaser trailer. But we know the DNA of the former game, and not a jot about the latter, as it’s a brand new IP from Bethesda. But the game will be in a sci-fi setting, and could have some space-sim elements.
We have no idea when it will arrive either, but it’s set to release before the Elder Scrolls 6. What’s exciting here is that under Microsoft’s wing, Bethesda could tap into some of the tech used in Flight SImulator X, allowing the developer to make a very detailed and "realistic" spacefaring game. And a closer link to Microsoft could allow Bethesda to get a better handle on the power of the Xbox Series X and create a game that’s not only vast, but also looks incredible, with ray-tracing tech and other graphical wizardry. — Roland Moore-Colyer
Arkane’s Dishonored, which was published by Bethesda, showed what visionary developers from defunct studios can do when they put their heads together. Dishonored lets you tackle and dispatch antagonists in a wide range of creative ways. You could possess a rat, then sneak into a brothel and assassinate a corrupt official by cooking them alive in a steam room. Or you could pause time and charge headfirst, blasting enemies off balconies with a bevy of weapons. Or you could mix and match a whole range of approaches. Dishonored 2 built upon that foundation, bringing in a second character with more powers, and more exotic locations.
For a third game, all Arkane would need to do is build upon that Dishonored recipe. It’s arguably already doing that with Deathloop for the PS5. But a new game based in Dishonored’s Pandyssian continent would be tantalizing for anyone who’s a fan of immersive stealth sims. —- Roland Moore-Colyer
An all-star crossover shooter
Between Halo, Gears, Doom, Quake and Wolfenstein, Microsoft now owns nearly all of the legendary shooter franchises. As such, some sort of all-star multiplayer shooter celebrating these iconic characters would be a perfect fit. Think Overwatch meets Smash Bros., with characters such as Master Chief, Marcus Fenix, the Doom Slayer and B.J. Blazkowicz each sporting their own unique abilities in big, over-the-top battles. These characters have crossed over in various capacities before (Halo characters in Gears 5; Doom and Wolfenstein characters in Quake Champions), so why not throw them together for the ultimate character-based shooter? — Mike Andronico
A new Isometric Fallout
Bethesda owns the rights to the Fallout series; Obsidian is home to many devs who worked on the original two Fallout games. The two companies have already worked together once before, on the fan-favorite Fallout: New Vegas. Now that Microsoft owns both Bethesda and Obsidian, isn’t it time to let the two studios work together again? Since 2008, Fallout has been a first-person, open-world franchise, but we’d argue that it’s time to take the series back to its isometric roots.
With isometric RPGs like Pillars of Eternity 2, Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Baldur’s Gate 3 all making a big splash, why shouldn’t Fallout get the same treatment? Imagine a gorgeously rendered, strategic Fallout game that’s a little bit smaller in scope, but a lot more intricate in terms of combat and story choices. Obsidian has the experience; Bethesda has the license; Microsoft has them both. Even if it’s just a spinoff, a new isometric Fallout is just what the fans have been waiting for. — Marshall Honorof
Star Trek RPG
For a hot second back in 2006, Bethesda had the rights to publish Star Trek games. To my knowledge, the company put out only one game — the disappointing space shooter Star Trek: Legacy — but we could have had so much more. Bethesda’s director Todd Howard wanted to make an expansive, immersive single-player Star Trek RPG set in the swashbuckling Original Series era. The project never got very far, but it sounds like a heck of an idea.
While a lot of Howard’s ideas may have made it into Bethesda’s upcoming sci-fi RPG Starfield instead, it would still be cool to set a single-player RPG set in the Star Trek universe. Big maps with a lot of secrets to uncover are what Bethesda does best, and exploring strange, new worlds is Star Trek’s whole purpose. Letting players customize their own captain and setting out to explore the galaxy in a Federation starship sounds like a solid pitch, and apart from Star Trek Online, there haven’t been many great Star Trek games of late. While Bethesda doesn’t have Star Trek’s publishing rights at the moment, with Microsoft’s influence, maybe there’s a way to make this happen. —- Marshall Honorof