ZeniMax Media

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ZeniMax Media Inc.
Private
Industry Video game industry
Founded May 1999; 17 years ago (1999-05)
Founders
Headquarters Rockville, Maryland, U.S.
Coordinates 39°06′19″N 77°10′50″W / 39.105245°N 77.180515°W / 39.105245; -77.180515Coordinates: 39°06′19″N 77°10′50″W / 39.105245°N 77.180515°W / 39.105245; -77.180515
Key people
Total equity US$2.5 billion[1] (2016)
Number of employees
1000+[2] (2016)
Subsidiaries
Website zenimax.com

ZeniMax Media Inc. is an American media company that develops and publishes video games through its subsidiaries. ZeniMax is known for being the owner of Arkane Studios (developer of Dishonored and Prey), BattleCry Studios (developer of BattleCry), id Software (developer of Doom series and Quake series), MachineGames (developer of Wolfenstein series),[3] Tango Gameworks[4] (developer of The Evil Within), Bethesda Softworks (developer and publisher of The Elder Scrolls, Fallout) and ZeniMax Online Studios. ZeniMax is headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.[5]

ZeniMax is partly owned by private equity firm Providence Equity Partners and German Mass media company ProSiebenSat.1 Media. Providence invested $300 million in ZeniMax in 2007 in exchange for a 25% ownership stake,[6][7] and an additional $150 million in 2010 for an undisclosed amount of shares, now owning a minority stake in the company.[8] ProSiebenSat.1 Media owns a 6.83% stake in ZeniMax as of December 31, 2015.[9]

ZeniMax was reportedly valued at $1.2 billion, in 2007[10] and later rumored to be valued at $2.5 billion or more in 2016."[1]

History[edit]

ZeniMax Media was founded in May 1999[11] by Bethesda Softworks founder Christopher Weaver and Robert A. Altman.[12][13] ZeniMax was established as a successor company to Media Technology, Bethesda's parent company at the time.

Weaver brought Altman on board as CEO, contributing his stock in Bethesda Softworks so that the new shell company, named ZeniMax Media, would be able to obtain funding. Weaver served initially as Chief Technology Officer of the company from 1999–2002, then moved to a non-operational role in 2002. Weaver later filed a lawsuit against ZeniMax in 2002, claiming he was ousted by his new business partners after giving them access to his brand and was owed US$1.2 million in severance pay when ZeniMax didn't renew his employment contract.In the end the case was dropped out of court,because Weaver was going through emails of the other employees to find evidence for his case.[12][14]

In 2004, ZeniMax Media acquired the Fallout franchise from Interplay Entertainment.[15] Bethesda's Todd Howard said in January 2007 that "We started work on Fallout 3 in late 2004 with a few people. We only had about 10 people on it until Oblivion wrapped (...)".[16] Fallout 3 was released in October 2008.

On August 1, 2007, ZeniMax Media announced the creation of ZeniMax Online Studios, a division headed by Matt Firor.[17] In 2012, the company announced that it was developing The Elder Scrolls Online, ultimately releasing it on April 4, 2014.

On October 30, 2007, ZeniMax Media announced that European broadcasting group ProSiebenSat.1 Media was intensifying its relationship with ZeniMax. It launched SevenGames.com, the international version of its German game platform, in December and work with ZeniMax to develop online games. ProSiebenSat.1 Media held a 9% stake in ZeniMax at the time through SBS Broadcasting, which it acquired the same year.[18][19][20] SBS Broadcasting previously acquired a 12.5% stake in ZeniMax in October 2000 as part of the partnership between the two companies at the time.[21][22] This included ZeniMax's e-Nexus Studios subsidiary, developing European entertainment portals and web sites for SBS,[23][24] as well as other stock purchase agreements between SBS and ZeniMax.[25]

In September 2009, ZeniMax Media acquired rights to the Prey video game franchise.[26]

In December 2009, ZeniMax Media acquired publishing rights to the id Software game Rage. The game was to be published by Electronic Arts.[27]

On October 6, 2010, ZeniMax Media received $150 million private investment in convertible preferred stock from Providence Equity Partners.[28] Providence had earlier invested US$300 million in ZeniMax convertible preferred stock in 2007.[29]

On March 3, 2011, ZeniMax Media announced a partnership with the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts to support its Interactive Media Division with a comprehensive educational program of guest lectures and internships.[30]

In May 2014, ZeniMax Media, sent a letter to Facebook and Oculus VR asserting that any contributions that John Carmack made to the Oculus Rift project are the intellectual property of ZeniMax, stating that "ZeniMax provided necessary VR technology and other valuable assistance to Palmer Luckey and other Oculus employees in 2012 and 2013 to make the Oculus Rift a viable VR product, superior to other VR market offerings."

On May 21, 2014, ZeniMax Media filed a lawsuit against Oculus VR.[31][32] On June 25, 2014, Oculus VR filed an official response to the lawsuit. Oculus claimed ZeniMax Media was falsely claiming ownership to take advantage of the acquisition by Facebook. Oculus also claimed that the Oculus Rift did not share a single line of code or any technology with ZeniMax's code and technology.[33]

Corporate governance[edit]

ZeniMax's Board of Directors consists of eight individuals:

Subsidiaries[edit]

Current[edit]

Defunct[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kiel, Porter (May 11, 2016). "Providence Said to Weigh Options for Video-Game Maker ZeniMax". Bloomberg Businessweek. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved June 4, 2016. 
  2. ^ Hines, Pete (May 28, 2016). "Pete Hines on Twitter: "@bogorad222 definitely over 1,000. Not sure how much beyond."". Twitter. Retrieved June 27, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Buyout brings birth of ZeniMax Sweden â?? report". Develop-online.net. November 5, 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Boom: Zenimax buys Tango and Shinji Mikami". VG247. October 28, 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  5. ^ "ZeniMax Media Company Profile". ZeniMax.com. Retrieved July 3, 2016. 
  6. ^ "RR Donnelley Private Equity". Docstoc.com. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  7. ^ "ZeniMax Media Buys DOOM Maker | peHUBpeHUB". Pehub.com. June 25, 2009. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Oculus, Facebook Face Challenge to Rights Over 'Rift'". The Wall Street Journal. May 1, 2014. Retrieved June 13, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Financial Statements as of December 31, 2015 and combined management report" (PDF). April 28, 2016. p. 165. Retrieved June 5, 2016. 
  10. ^ "ProSiebenSat.1 hold talks with US game producer ZeniMax". Telecompaper. November 2, 2007. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Sec Form D" (PDF). Sec.gov. Retrieved July 11, 2016. 
  12. ^ a b "Christopher Weaver vs ZeniMax Media" (PDF). courts.state.md.us. Retrieved July 26, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Gamers at Work: Stories Behind the Games People Play". Morgan Ramsay. Retrieved August 13, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Bethesda:The Right Direction". The Escapist. February 6, 2007. Retrieved July 26, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Facing Fallout". Edge. April 2, 2007. Archived from the original on August 20, 2012. Retrieved July 8, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Fallout 3 360-bound?". www.gamestop.com. January 23, 2007. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved July 8, 2016. 
  17. ^ "ZeniMax Media Announces Establishment of Online Gaming Division – ZeniMax Online Studios". ZeniMax.com. August 1, 2007. Archived from the original on May 15, 2008. Retrieved July 9, 2016. 
  18. ^ Meza, Ed (October 30, 2007). "ProSieben tightens hold on ZeniMax". Variety. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Global Finance and the Development of Regional Clusters:Tracing Paths in Munich's Film & TV Industry" (PDF). Prof. Dr. Hans-Martin Zademach. May 1, 2009. p. 22. Retrieved July 8, 2016. 
  20. ^ Scott, Roxborough (October 31, 2007). "Game time for ProSiebenSat.1". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 3, 2016. 
  21. ^ "SBS BROADCASTING S.A.". SEC. May 30, 2003. p. 66. Retrieved September 26, 2016. 
  22. ^ "FORM 6-K". SEC. October 23, 2003. p. 14. Retrieved September 26, 2016. 
  23. ^ "SBS BROADCASTING SA AND UNITED PAN-EUROPE COMMUNICATIONS EXPAND THEIR STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP". PR Newswire. Retrieved September 26, 2016. 
  24. ^ "SBS Broadcasting SA Announces Major European Internet Initiatives; SBS Invests in Bidlet and Partners with Sweden's Largest Auction Site". PR Newswire. November 17, 1999. Retrieved September 26, 2016. 
  25. ^ "FORM 20-F/A". SEC. May 23, 2003. p. 4,6. Retrieved September 26, 2016. 
  26. ^ Bailey, Kat (September 8, 2009). "ZeniMax Media Acquires Rights To 'Prey'". 1UP.com. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  27. ^ Purchese, Robert (December 15, 2009). "Bethesda takes Rage from EA". Eurogamer. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  28. ^ "ZeniMax Media Receives $150 Million Investment From Providence Equity Partners". ZeniMax.com. October 6, 2010. Archived from the original on March 9, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2016. 
  29. ^ "ZeniMax Media Receives $300 Million Investment From Providence Equity Partners". ZeniMax.com. October 25, 2007. Archived from the original on September 5, 2008. Retrieved July 3, 2016. 
  30. ^ "ZeniMax Partners with USC School of Cinematic Arts". ZeniMax.com. March 3, 2011. Archived from the original on March 9, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2016. 
  31. ^ "Oculus and Facebook face legal challenge from John Carmack's former employer". The Verge. Retrieved May 2, 2014. 
  32. ^ "One document could decide whether Oculus owes ZeniMax millions". The Verge. Retrieved May 2, 2014. 
  33. ^ Sarkar, Samit (June 25, 2014). "Oculus: ZeniMax suit is a 'transparent attempt to take advantage' of Facebook acquisitione". Polygon. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  34. ^ "Bethesda Game Studios Opens Montreal Office". ZeniMax.com. December 9, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2016. 
  35. ^ Remo, Chris (June 24, 2009). "Bethesda Parent ZeniMax Acquires id Software". Gamasutra. Retrieved June 24, 2009. 
  36. ^ "ZeniMax Media Aquires Arkane Studios". ZeniMax.com. August 12, 2010. Archived from the original on November 29, 2010. Retrieved July 20, 2016. 
  37. ^ "Tango Gameworks, led by Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami, joins ZeniMax | Bethesda Blog". Bethblog.com. October 28, 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  38. ^ Gilbert, Ben (November 5, 2010). "Machinegames purchased by ZeniMax Media, becomes ZeniMax Sweden". Joystiq. Retrieved November 8, 2010. 
  39. ^ "Welcome to Battlecry Studios! | Bethesda Blog". Bethblog.com. October 3, 2012. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  40. ^ Barron, James (January 19, 2000). "PUBLIC LIVES". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved August 25, 2016. 
  41. ^ Hilpert, Mark (December 22, 1997). "ThunderWave makes a big splash at Getty Center". Washington Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved August 25, 2016. 

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