Bethesda Softworks has been a developer and publisher of interactive entertainment content for over two decades. Founded in 1985 by Christopher Weaver in Bethesda, Maryland; they moved to Rockville, Maryland in 1990, and have a long history of PC and console games. Weaver, company President Vlatko Andonov recalls, had originally wanted to call the company "Softworks", but found the name taken. "So, our founder, sitting at his kitchen table in Bethesda decided after laborious thought to add Bethesda to Softworks and there you have it!" Bethesda was acquired by Zenimax Media, Inc., co-founded by Weaver, in 1999.
Bethesda is credited with the creation of the first physics-based sports simulation (Gridiron) in 1986 for the Atari ST, Commodore Amiga and Commodore 64/128, which led to Bethesda's creation of the first John Madden Football game for Electronic Arts. Despite their long history of development in many genres, they are perhaps best known for creating The Elder Scrolls RPG series which Weaver initiated in 1992, based upon the original programming of Julian Lefay. The first chapter of the series, entitled The Elder Scrolls: Arena, was released in 1994. Since that time, numerous other chapters have been released. The latest chapter, The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, was released in March 2006.