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Bethesda’s leap to Xbox Game Pass adds 12 classics: Morrowind, Oblivion, more

Enlarge / All of these Bethesda games are now available on Xbox Game Pass. The tiny green icons are, from left-to-right in games that have them all: PC, console, xCloud.
Xbox / Bethesda

The Microsoft and Bethesda marriage pushed forward on Thursday with a roundtable discussion between major players from both teams, and it included an unsurprising announcement: starting tomorrow, March 12, a treasure trove of Bethesda games will land on the paid Xbox Game Pass service.

While the official announcement mentions a full roster of 20 Bethesda-published games on Game Pass, Bethesda already had some games in the service ahead of today’s video presentation. The “new” content for paying subscribers includes 12 games in all:

  • Dishonored Definitive Edition
  • Doom (1993)
  • Doom II
  • Doom 3
  • Doom 64
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  • The Evil Within
  • Fallout 4
  • Prey
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order
  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood

The rest are visible in the list at the top of the article, and icons indicate whether a game is available on Windows 10 and/or xCloud streaming. The list is missing a few biggies that have previously been published on Xbox consoles, including Fallout 3, The Evil Within 2, the 2016 Doom reboot, and the original Rage from 2011. It also doesn’t expand xCloud access to existing Game Pass games that previously didn’t work on the cloud—and so far, it doesn’t bring PC classics outside the Xbox ecosystem into the Game Pass family, not even for its Windows 10 tier. Still, seeing the list rewind back to Xbox’s earliest Elder Scrolls games is a treat for anybody hungry to explore the series’ glory days (horse armor notwithstanding) before we hear about the previously announced Elder Scrolls VI.

For now, the list doesn’t include current PlayStation console exclusives Deathloop and Ghostwire Tokyo, both slated to launch for Sony’s consoles by year’s end. Microsoft and Bethesda have yet to indicate if or when those games may land on Xbox consoles or Xbox Game Pass. Still, Microsoft has previously pledged that all of its first-party software will arrive day-and-date on Game Pass for paying subscribers, and Bethesda’s upcoming games now land squarely in that plan.

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Ahead of the streamed discussion, as co-hosted by Xbox chief Phil Spencer, Bethesda game director Todd Howard, and Bethesda VP Pete Hines, the combined companies were careful to warn fans that it was not necessarily a “news” event—at least, in terms of new game announcements. Yet during today’s meeting, we got a few morsels of information. First, the first announcements of new content coming from the combined companies will arrive “by the end of this summer.”

And second, games from Bethesda’s back catalog are being worked on by Xbox’s “FPS Boost” team. The first game in today’s list to get this treatment on Series X/S consoles, as officially confirmed during the roundtable, is The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, but we don’t know when that game will get its patch or when “other games” will get a similar treatment. The FPS Boost program for Series X/S consoles is so far in dire need of content, with only five games supported as of today. (Fallout 4 had previously been teased as part of this program, so we have a hunch it’s part of the upcoming slate of patch recipients.)

Roundtable on Bethesda joining Xbox.

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