Bethesda Softworks

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Bethesda Softworks is an American game developer and publisher founded in 1986 in Rockville, Maryland. In 1999, it was acquired by ZeniMax Media and since 2001, the name was used only for publishing with the special "Game Studios" brand opened for development. Since 2009, Bethesda also serves as a publisher for other studios owned by ZeniMax, including id Software. In March 2021, Microsoft acquired ZeniMax Media and all its subsidiaries, which it became a part of Xbox Game Studios.

1st Logo (1986-2000)

Visuals: The name "BETHESDA SOFTWORKS" is written in a futuristic font.


  • On Wayne Gretzky Hockey 3, the logo is on a hockey puck within the game's title sequence.
  • On Gridiron, the logo appeared within moving rainbow colors.
  • On Wayne Gretzky Hockey for Amiga, the logo is on a space background, and a red grid forms before turning into the logo.
  • On The Terminator 2029, the logo is seen from silver liquid.
  • On Delta V, NCAA Road to the Final Four 2 and The Terminator: Rampage, the logo rotates on a space background, and "PRESENTS" is shown below the logo.
  • On Burnout: Championship Drag Racing", the logo is shown on a green background, with a microprocessor chip zooming out.
  • On two Elder Scrolls games, Daggerfall and Battlespire, the logo is on fire, with "PRESENTS" below the logo.
  • On two Terminator games, Future Shock and SkyNET, the text is shortened to "BETHESDA".

Technique: Usually none, but games like Delta V have 3D animation.

Audio: None.

Availability: Seen on early games by the company like The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall.

2nd Logo (2000-2010)

Visuals: The Bethesda logo is revealed letter-by-letter. It is colored in gray with the first letter being red, and a superscript square to the left. The ZeniMax byline is wiped in below.


  • From 2000 to 2001, a special animation was used with moving particles and transparent geometrical shapes, which formed the logo. This was seen on Sea Dogs and Magic & Mayhem II.
  • On IHRA Drag Racing, the letters zoom into the logo, with the background in white, which is then followed by the intro movie.
  • Sometimes the logo is still.
  • A colorless variant was spotted.

Technique: 2D animation.

Audio: A dreamy soundtrack.

Availability: Seen on many games, for example The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

3rd Logo (October 19, 2010-)

Visuals: There is a white holed cube running on a black field and stopping. Instantly, it all zooms out and the word "Bethesda" appears right to the cube, which turns 2D.

Variant: Occasionally, the colors are inverted.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: Unknown.

Availability: Appears on Brink, Dishonored, and Rage, and continues to be shown on recent games under the Bethesda Softworks label, such as Wolfenstein: The New Order (along with its expansion The Old Blood and its sequel The New Colossus) and The Evil Within. The inverted version appears on the 2016 version of Doom, Hunted: The Demon's Forge, Wolfenstein: Youngblood and The Elder Scrolls Online.

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