ZeniMax Media

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ZeniMax Media Inc.
Industry Interactive entertainment
Computer and video games
Founded May 1999
Founders Christopher Weaver
Robert A. Altman
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
Robert A. Altman, Chairman and CEO
Ernest Del, President
Products Doom, Quake, The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, Rage, Dishonored
Owner Providence Equity Partners (25%)
ProSiebenSat.1 Media (9%)
Number of employees
Subsidiaries Bethesda Softworks
ZeniMax Online Studios
id Software
Arkane Studios
Tango Gameworks
BattleCry Studios
Website www.zenimax.com

ZeniMax Media Inc. is an American media company that develops and publishes video games through its subsidiaries. ZeniMax is known as the owner of id Software (developer of Doom, Quake and Wolfenstein), Bethesda Game Studios (developer of The Elder Scrolls, Fallout 3 and Fallout 4), Arkane Studios (developer of Arx Fatalis, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic and Dishonored), MachineGames (developer of Wolfenstein: The New Order and Wolfenstein: The Old Blood),[2] Tango Gameworks[3] (developer of The Evil Within) and ZeniMax Online Studios. ZeniMax Media Inc. is headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.[4]

ZeniMax Media was reportedly valued at about USD $1.2 billion, in 2007.[5][6]


ZeniMax Media was Co-founded in May 1999 by Bethesda Softworks founder Christopher Weaver and DC lawyer Robert A. Altman.[7] 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.

In 2004, ZeniMax Media acquired the Fallout franchise from Interplay Entertainment.[8] 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 (...)".[9] Fallout 3 was released in October 2008.

On October 6, 2010, ZeniMax Media received $150 million private investment in convertible preferred stock from Providence Equity Partners.[10] Providence had earlier invested US$300 million in ZeniMax convertible preferred stock in 2007.[11] Providence Equity Partners holds a 25% stake in ZeniMax Media.[12][13]

On August 1, 2007, ZeniMax Media announced the creation of ZeniMax Online Studios a division headed by Matt Firor. In 2012, the company announced that it was developing The Elder Scrolls Online, ultimately releasing it on April 4, 2014.[14]

On October 30, 2007, ZeniMax Media announced that Euro 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 gaming. ProSiebenSat.1 Media holds a 9% stake in ZeniMax Media through SBS Broadcasting, which it acquired the same year.[15][16][17]

In September 2009, ZeniMax Media acquired rights to the Prey video game franchise.[18]

In December 2009, ZeniMax Media acquired publishing rights to the id Software game Rage. The game was to be published by Electronic Arts.[19]

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.[20][21]

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.[22][23] 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.[24]

Corporate governance[edit]

The company's Board of Directors consists of 8 individuals:

Note: Todd Hollenshead, the Former President of id Software, is not listed in the ZeniMax Board of Directors on the official ZeniMax website nor do the recent filings mention him, but Hollenshead was a ZeniMax Board member according to a 2009 filing by ZeniMax. It is unknown what period he was a Director.[27]

Other board members in the past included Mark Schneider, the former Chairman and CEO of United Pan-Europe Communications, Inc., as well as Christopher Weaver.[28][29]

Outside advisors[edit]

ZeniMax's Business Advisory Board consists of 7 individuals:

Previous advisors included Dean Devlin Co-Founder of Centropolis Entertainment,[32] as well as Mark Bilfield, the former Director of Integrated Marketing, at Saatchi & Saatchi.[33][34]


ZeniMax Media had many different investors over the years. The investors are Providence Equity Partners, ProSiebenSat.1 Media, Robert A. Altman, Leslie Moonves, Cal Ripken, Jr, Harry E. Sloan, Jerry Bruckheimer, Ernest Del, J. Griffin Lesher, James Cedar, Cindy C. Tallent, Robert S. Trump, Michael J. Domingues, Christopher Weaver, SBS Broadcasting Europe, Ardsley Partners Fund, ZM Investment, The Gordon and Donva Crawford Trust(Gordon Crawford), the Schon Family Trust and ZeniMax private investor Tony Coelho.[35][36][37]


Development studios[edit]



  • e-Nexus Studios (internet entertainment).[44]
  • XL Translab (computer graphics & multimedia production).[45] Acquired in 1997 by Bethesda Softworks, defunct date unknown.[46]
  • Vir2L Studios, acquired in 1999, inactive since late 2010.
  • Mud Duck Productions, founded in 2002, inactive since 2007.
  • ZeniMax Los Angeles, founded in 1999, the office was closed in September 2001 due to lack of investor funding.[47]
  • Bethesda Softworks East in Moscow, Russia founded in 2001, closed in 2004.[48][49]


  1. ^ "Providence Equity Partners executive says video-game industry is 'challenging'". Techzone360.com. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  2. ^ "Buyout brings birth of ZeniMax Sweden – report | Game Development | News by Develop". Develop-online.net. 2010-11-05. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  3. ^ "Boom: Zenimax buys Tango and Shinji Mikami". VG247. 2010-10-28. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  4. ^ "ZeniMax Media Company Profile". Zenimax.com. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  5. ^ "RR Donnelley Private Equity". Docstoc.com. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  6. ^ "ProSiebenSat.1 hold talks with US game producer ZeniMax". Telecompaper. 2007-11-02. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  7. ^ http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/vprr/07/9999999997-07-005258
  8. ^ "Facing Fallout - Edge Magazine". Next-gen.biz. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  9. ^ Fallout 3 360-bound? from GameSpot
  10. ^ "ZeniMax Online Studios". Zenimax.com. 2010-10-06. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  11. ^ "ZeniMax Online Studios". Zenimax.com. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  12. ^ "ZeniMax Media Buys DOOM Maker | peHUBpeHUB". Pehub.com. 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  13. ^ "Providence Backs ZeniMax Media | peHUBpeHUB". Pehub.com. 2007-10-26. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  14. ^ "ZeniMax Media Inc". Zenimax.com. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  15. ^ Meza, Ed (2007-10-30). "ProSieben tightens hold on ZeniMax". Variety. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  16. ^ http://www.uis.no/getfile.php/Forskning/Senter%20for%20Innovasjonsforskning/Zademach2009_Global%20Finance%20and%20CLuster%20Development.pdf
  17. ^ http://translate.google.lv/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&prev=_t&hl=lv&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http://www.finanzen.net/nachricht/aktien/ProSiebenSat-1-Group-verstaerkt-Games-Aktivitaeten-Beteiligung-an-US-Spieleproduzent-ZeniMax-242586
  18. ^ Bailey, Kat (2009-09-08). "ZeniMax Media Acquires Rights To 'Prey'". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2010-01-02. 
  19. ^ Purchese, Robert (2009-12-15). "Bethesda takes Rage from EA". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2010-01-02. 
  20. ^ "ZeniMax Media announces partnership with USC School of Cinematic Arts". zenimax.com. 2011-03-03. Retrieved 2014-01-14. 
  21. ^ "Bethesda developers to lecture at USC | Bethesda Blog". Bethblog.com. 2011-03-03. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  22. ^ "Oculus and Facebook face legal challenge from John Carmack's former employer". The Verge. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  23. ^ "One document could decide whether Oculus owes ZeniMax millions". The Verge. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  24. ^ Sarkar, Samit. "Oculus: ZeniMax suit is a 'transparent attempt to take advantage' of Facebook acquisition". 
  25. ^ "Harry E. Sloan of Global Eagle Acquisition Corp Board of Directors". Insiders.morningstar.com. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  26. ^ http://www.bizapedia.com/ny/TRUMP-MANAGEMENT-INC.html
  27. ^ "Sec Form D". Sec.gov. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  28. ^ "Zenimax Media Inc. | profile - board of directors". Web.archive.org. 2000-09-29. Archived from the original on 2000-09-29. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  29. ^ "TVSL S.A. IN LIQUIDATION - 20-F - 20050630 - DIRECTORS_AND_OFFICERS". Google.brand.edgar-online.com. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  30. ^ http://www.dlapiper.com/john_merrigan/
  31. ^ "ZeniMax Media Inc". Web.archive.org. 2006-10-09. Archived from the original on 2006-10-09. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  32. ^ "Zenimax Media Inc. | profile - business advisory board". Web.archive.org. 2001-09-23. Archived from the original on 2001-02-11. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  33. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20010712002423/http://www.zenimax.com/profile9.html - His initial and surname are in the image name when you right click and click "view image", or view the page source. The image name is "n_mbilfield.gif"
  34. ^ http://www.linkedin.com/in/markbilfield - Found his profile with the information in the previous cite.
  35. ^ "ZeniMax Media raises $9.9 million from some big names". VentureBeat. 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  36. ^ http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/vprr/07/9999999997-07-035686
  37. ^ "ZeniMax Media Inc". Web.archive.org. 2008-09-05. Archived from the original on 2008-09-05. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  38. ^ Remo, Chris (2009-06-24). "Bethesda Parent ZeniMax Acquires id Software". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  39. ^ "Tango Gameworks, led by Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami, joins ZeniMax | Bethesda Blog". Bethblog.com. 2010-10-28. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  40. ^ Gilbert, Ben (2010-11-05). "Machinegames purchased by ZeniMax Media, becomes ZeniMax Sweden". Joystiq. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  41. ^ "Welcome to Battlecry Studios! | Bethesda Blog". Bethblog.com. 2012-10-03. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  42. ^ "Financial statement of Zenimax Europe Limited in Berkshire". Duedil.com. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  43. ^ http://www.bethblog.com/2013/10/02/gday-australia-and-new-zealand/
  44. ^ "SBS Broadcasting SA Announces Major European Internet Initiatives; SBS Invests in Bidlet and Partners with Sweden's Largest Auction Site. - Free Online Library". Thefreelibrary.com. 1999-11-17. Retrieved 2013-01-28. 
  45. ^ http://www.flash8.net/uploadflash/2/flash8net_1547.swf
  46. ^ "ThunderWave makes a big splash at Getty Center - Washington Business Journal". Bizjournals.com. 1997-12-22. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  47. ^ http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=55852656&authType=name&authToken=IteG&trk=prof-sb-browse_map-name
  48. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2315082/bio
  49. ^ http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=1217333&authType=OPENLINK&authToken=kuhN&locale=en_US&srchid=1907704941377874607950&srchindex=2&srchtotal=9&trk=vsrp_people_res_name&trkInfo=VSRPsearchId%3A1907704941377874607950%2CVSRPtargetId%3A1217333%2CVSRPcmpt%3Aprimary

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