Bethesda founder discusses sale to Microsoft and what it could mean for in-development games

(Image credit: Bethesda)

In an interview with Inverse, Bethesda founder Chrisopher Weaver—who no longer works in the game industry and describes himself as "more of an academic" with "a pittance of the stock" in Bethesda's parent company Zenimax Media—discussed the company's sale to Microsoft for $7.5 billion.

When asked about what it could mean for Bethesda's in-development games, Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6, he said, "I have yet to meet an executive who does not want to accelerate the sale of a potential product. The trick is to keep those administrators at bay until a product is truly ready for prime time. Bethesda has been producing commercial software for a very long time. I have to believe Microsoft execs will be responsive to Bethesda's input."

Weaver describes the relationship between Bethesda and Microsoft around the time of Morrowind's Xbox release as "excellent", saying that "I was close to key members of the original Xbox development team and shared many thoughts for what their "next-gen" console could bring to gaming." He describes Microsoft's purchase of Bungie and other studios as "prescient".

On the subject of whether he believes Bethesda's future games will eventually become console-exclusive to Xbox, Weaver said, "I do not think it is any accident that this announcement occurred so close to Sony’s PS5 announcement. There are only a limited number of proven creators of AAA. What Microsoft owns, Sony cannot get."

Christopher Weaver founded Bethesda Softworks in 1986 and created physics football game Gridiron! under its banner before serving as producer on the first two Elder Scrolls games. He later co-founded Bethesda's parent company Zenimax Media, before leaving to pursue a career in academia.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.