QuakeCon 2010: Welcome to the family, Arkane Studios!


During the kickoff for QuakeCon 2010 today, Pete Hines took the stage to introduce the newest member of the ZeniMax family — Arkane Studios.

More details on the acquisition can be read in the press release that went out today. Find it after the break…ROCKVILLE, Md., Aug. 12/PRNewswire/ — ZeniMax Media Inc., parent company of noted game publisher Bethesda Softworks, today announced it has completed the acquisition of veteran game developer Arkane Studios.

Founded in 1999, Arkane has offices in Lyon, France and Austin, Texas and is led by co-creative directors Raphael Colantonio, Arkane’s founder and CEO who will also serve as president of Arkane, and Harvey Smith, lead designer onDeus Ex.  Arkane’s first title, Arx Fatalis, was released in 2002 and became a fan favorite with its highly detailed environments and innovative gameplay. In addition, Arkane developed Dark Messiah of Might and Magic (PC version), and has collaborated on a number of high profile game projects, including Bioshock 2. Arkane is currently working on an unannounced project with Bethesda Softworks.

“This is an exciting moment for Arkane. After 11 years of independent development, we couldn’t think of a better publishing partner,” said Colantonio. “We share so many creative values. Joining the ZeniMax family will allow us to grow stronger while staying true to the games we love.”

Arkane joins a group of development studios which includes id Software and Bethesda Game Studios, two of the finest, most respected videogame developers in the world. This deal further underscoresBethesda’s commitment to delivering premier titles to gamers worldwide.

“We are very pleased to be able to bring another experienced, high quality developer like Arkane to the ZeniMax group of studios,” said Robert Altman, Chairman and CEO of ZeniMax Media. “Raphael and his talented team have earned a reputation for creating immersive, innovative games which enhances our ability to deliver AAA quality games to our many fans.”

About ZeniMax® Media Inc.

ZeniMax Media is a preeminent media organization which has brought together a team of world class game developers, artists and designers, programmers, producers, and leading executives and talent from traditional media.  ZeniMax Media creates and publishes original interactive entertainmentcontent for consoles, the PC, and handheld/wireless devices.  ZeniMax Media divisions include Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, Arkane Studios, Vir2L Studios, ZeniMaxEurope Ltd., and ZeniMax Online Studios.  ZeniMax, Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios,The Elder ScrollsOblivionMorrowind and related logos are registered trademarks or trademarks of ZeniMax Media Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.  Fallout is a registered trademark or trademark of Bethesda Softworks LLC in the U.S. and/or other countries.   Arkane, Arx Fatalis and related logos are registered trademarks or trademarks of Arkane Studios in the U.S. and/or other countries.  For more information on ZeniMax Media, visit www.zenimax.com.

About Bethesda Softworks®

Bethesda Softworks, part of the ZeniMax Media Inc. family of companies, is a premier developer and worldwide publisher of interactive entertainment software and has produced numerous award-winning titles, most recently with 2006 PC and Xbox 360® Game of the Year and RPG of the Year, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion®, and the 2002 PC and Xbox® Game of the Year and RPG of the Year, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind®. Among Bethesda’s more popular franchises are The Elder Scrolls® series and Fallout®. For more information on Bethesda Softworks’ products, visit www.bethsoft.com.

About Arkane® Studios

Founded in 1999, Arkane has offices located in Lyon, France and Austin, TX and has attracted diverse and talented developers with a passion for creating detailed, immersive worlds.  Arkane is currently working on an unannounced title for Bethesda Softworks.

Reader Comments

  1. i know you know it but a reminder is always a good thing
    you are going stronger and in a few years from know you shall fall down like id
    watch out!!!

  2. Sounds awesome. Although I’m curious, is Arkane actually working on an unannounced title “for Bethesda Softworks” or “with Bethesda Softworks.”

  3. Turns out that Bethesda is only publishing this secret game, as usual… :/

    I’d really like to hear about the game Bethesda is MAKING, not the ones they’re publishing…

  4. If Bethesda keeps acquiring other companies at this rate the CEO will have to prepare his own “…the first Galactic Empire…” speech sooner than planned.


    It says Bethesda Softworks, not Bethesda Game Studios, unfortunately.

  5. You guys acquired the studio that worked on Dark Messiah and Bioshock 2? Awesomeness, they will have some good tips for a TES game.

  6. Arkane Studios has done some pretty awesome things in the past IMHO and they have quite an affinity with Bethesda’s style. Sounds like a match made in heaven, if you ask me.
    Also, Bethesda has proven to be a reliable partner so far IMHO so .. waiting to hear more about the game in the works!

  7. I’m all for more Dark Messiah styled games!

    However, I bore of coming here and seeing stuff Bethesda is only overseeing, lately.

    Bethesda got popular making games, not publishing them.

    Bethesda got popular making The Elder Scrolls. Their IP. Not publishing other peoples IPs’.

  8. I really enjoyed dark messiah. They really worked well with the source engine. Glad to see that they’re going to keep making games!

  9. I liked the combat system in Dark Messiah, so I’d like to see similiar combat in the next Elder Scrolls game.

    Hurry up with TESV already!

  10. Not that my opinion matters, but I’m not sure I like where this is going. The more game developers that Zenimax acquires, the more it sounds like it’ll turn into another money hungry conglomerate much like EA or Activision – where quality suffers in favour of quantity and zero reliable customer service.

    I understand the need for a company to grow but I remain apprehensive for this company’s future from a customer’s point of view. I’ve been a fan and loyal customer since Daggerfall and I’d rather not see a repeat of the companies I’ve already mentioned with this one.

  11. @ Khevor: BGS still has the creative freedoms it had ten years ago, and I don’t think Zenimax has it in mind to change that. As for the companies that have been obtained: look at them, from Arkane to id, these are companies with excellent track records making fantastic games. They aren’t these small time companies on the edge getting by making football and terminator games (Beth joke :P). DOOM, Quake, Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and now Might and Magic are some of the IPs under their belts.

    It’s also not like with 2K or EA or Rockstar where you have a situation like: id games is now Bethesda South. They mantain their independence as far as studio individuality is concerned, so don’t expect a mediocre terminator game from Arkane anytime soon ;). Also notice:

    “This is an exciting moment for Arkane. After 11 years of independent development, we couldn’t think of a better publishing partner”

    Publishing partner. Not corporate overlord. 🙂

  12. This is exciting news to say the least. Wow the creators of ARX FATALIS a wonderful rpg that reminded me alot of the play style of TES 2 DAGGERFALL. Congratulations to all involved.

  13. OMG! Great news! I loved Dark messiah. And I was wondering how a project like Dark Messiah and TES would be. I think this is going to be great. I have always thought about Arkane making a game with Bethesda.

  14. @Erik W or with Mythic having been renamed every other week. Hopefully they’ll now stick as Bioware Fairfax…

    As for the acquisition, really, id Software is the group’s technological powerhouse. Break it fully into an id Tech and an id Games, and have the tech side provide all of the engines for the entire Zenimax group. An id Tech 5-powered Arx Fatalis 2, anyone?