ZeniMax Media

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ZeniMax Media Inc.
Private
Industry Video game industry
Founded May 1999; 17 years ago (1999-05)
Founders Christopher Weaver
Robert A. Altman
Headquarters Rockville, Maryland, United States
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 BattleCry
Dishonored
Doom series
The Elder Scrolls series
The Evil Within
Fallout series
Quake series
Wolfenstein series
Prey
Total equity US$2.5 billion[1] (2016)
Owners Providence Equity Partners (25%)[2]
ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE (6.8%)[3]
Number of employees
1000+[4]
Subsidiaries Arkane Studios
BattleCry Studios
Bethesda Softworks
id Software
MachineGames
Tango Gameworks
ZeniMax Europe
ZeniMax Online 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 Arkane Studios (developer of Dishonored), BattleCry Studios (developer of BattleCry), Bethesda Game Studios (developer of The Elder Scrolls series and Fallout series), id Software (developer of Doom series and Quake series), MachineGames (developer of Wolfenstein series),[5] Tango Gameworks[6] (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.[7]

ZeniMax is partly owned by private equity firm Providence Equity Partners and German Mass media company ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE. Providence invested $300 million in ZeniMax in 2007 in exchange for a 25% ownership stake,[8] and an additional $150 million in 2010 and owns a minority stake in the company.[9] ProSieben owns a 6.8% stake in ZeniMax as of December 31, 2015.[3]

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

History[edit]

ZeniMax Media was co-founded in May 1999[11] by Bethesda Softworks founder Christopher Weaver and DC lawyer Robert A. Altman. 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 agaist ZeniMax in 2002,claiming he was ousted by his new business partners after giving them access to his brand and was owed $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][13]

In 2004, ZeniMax Media acquired the Fallout franchise from Interplay Entertainment.[14] 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 (...)".[15] 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.[16] 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 SE 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 SE held a 9% stake in ZeniMax at the time through SBS Broadcasting , which it acquired the same year.[17][18][19]

In September 2009, ZeniMax Media acquired rights to the Prey video game franchise.[20]

In December 2009, ZeniMax Media acquired publishing rights to the id Software game Rage. The game was to be published by Electronic Arts.[21]

On October 6, 2010, ZeniMax Media received $150 million private investment in convertible preferred stock from Providence Equity Partners.[22] Providence had earlier invested US$300 million in ZeniMax convertible preferred stock in 2007.[23]

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.[24]

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.[25][26] 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.[27]

Corporate governance[edit]

ZeniMax's Board of Directors consists of 8 individuals:

Previous Board Members[edit]

Outside advisors[edit]

ZeniMax's Business Advisory Board has included the following individuals over time.

Investors[edit]

ZeniMax Media has had many different investors over the years, including Providence Equity Partners, ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, 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, ZeniMax private investor Tony Coelho, Mark Tuohey, Lawrence Barcella and various other investors.[36][37][38][39]

Subsidiaries[edit]

Current[edit]

Publishing[edit]

  • Bethesda Softworks, acquired in 1999
  • ZeniMax Asia KK
  • ZeniMax Europe Ltd.
  • ZeniMax Germany GmbH
  • ZeniMax France SAS
  • ZeniMax Benelux BV
  • ZeniMax Asia Pacific Ltd.
  • ZeniMax Australia Pty Ltd[47]

Defunct[edit]

  • e-Nexus Studios (internet entertainment)(later renamed ZeniMax Productions),[48] headed by former Simpsons Co-Creator Sam Simon[49][50]
  • XL Translab (computer graphics & multimedia production).Acquired in 1997 by Bethesda Softworks, defunct date unknown.[51]
  • 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[52]
  • Bethesda Softworks East in Moscow, Russia founded in 2001, defunct date unknown.[53]
  • ZeniMax Technology(Research and development)
  • Flashpoint Productions in Olympia, Washington,founded in 1992,acquired in 1996 by Bethesda Softworks,defuct date unknown.[54]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kiel, Porter (May 11, 2016). "Providence Said to Weigh Options for Video-Game Maker ZeniMax". Bloomberg. Retrieved June 4, 2016. 
  2. ^ "ZeniMax Media Buys DOOM Maker | peHUBpeHUB". Pehub.com. June 25, 2009. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE Financial Statements as of December 31, 2015(Page 165)" (PDF). April 28, 2016. Retrieved June 5, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Bethesda Softworks's Pete Hines answer to employee numbers". Twitter. May 28, 2016. Retrieved June 27, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Buyout brings birth of ZeniMax Sweden – report | Game Development | News by Develop". Develop-online.net. November 5, 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Boom: Zenimax buys Tango and Shinji Mikami". VG247. October 28, 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  7. ^ "ZeniMax Media Company Profile". ZeniMax.com. Retrieved July 3, 2016. 
  8. ^ "RR Donnelley Private Equity". Docstoc.com. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
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  10. ^ "ProSiebenSat.1 hold talks with US game producer ZeniMax". Telecompaper. November 2, 2007. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Sec Form D(Actual Date of Incorporation of Corporation" (PDF). Sec.gov. Retrieved July 11, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Bethesda:The Right Direction". The Escapist. February 6, 2007. Retrieved July 26, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Christopher Weaver vs ZeniMax Media" (PDF). courts.state.md.us. Retrieved July 26, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Facing Fallout". Edge. April 2, 2007. Archived from the original on August 20, 2012. Retrieved July 8, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Fallout 3 360-bound?". www.gamestop.com. January 23, 2007. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved July 8, 2016. 
  16. ^ "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. 
  17. ^ Meza, Ed (October 30, 2007). "ProSieben tightens hold on ZeniMax". Variety. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Global Finance and the Development of Regional Clusters:Tracing Paths in Munich’s Film & TV Industry(Page 22)" (PDF). Prof. Dr. Hans-Martin Zademach. May 1, 2009. Retrieved July 8, 2016. 
  19. ^ Scott, Roxborough (October 31, 2007). "Game time for ProSiebenSat.1". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 3, 2016. 
  20. ^ Bailey, Kat (September 8, 2009). "ZeniMax Media Acquires Rights To 'Prey'". 1UP.com. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  21. ^ Purchese, Robert (December 15, 2009). "Bethesda takes Rage from EA". Eurogamer. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  22. ^ "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. 
  23. ^ "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. 
  24. ^ "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. 
  25. ^ "Oculus and Facebook face legal challenge from John Carmack's former employer". The Verge. Retrieved May 2, 2014. 
  26. ^ "One document could decide whether Oculus owes ZeniMax millions". The Verge. Retrieved May 2, 2014. 
  27. ^ Sarkar, Samit (June 25, 2014). "Oculus: ZeniMax suit is a 'transparent attempt to take advantage' of Facebook acquisitione". Polygon. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  28. ^ Jonson, Richard (January 17, 2016). "Donald Trump’s brother Robert emerges". pagesix.com. Retrieved June 8, 2016. 
  29. ^ Welsh, Oli (January 20, 2009). "Owning the Territory". gamesindustry.biz. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 
  30. ^ "Sec Form D". Sec.gov. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Zenimax Media Inc. | profile - board of directors". Web.archive.org. September 29, 2000. Archived from the original on September 29, 2000. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  32. ^ "John A. Merrigan". dlapiper.com. Retrieved July 20, 2016. 
  33. ^ "Zenimax Media Inc. | profile - business advisory board". Web.archive.org. September 23, 2001. Archived from the original on February 11, 2001. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  34. ^ 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"
  35. ^ "Mark Bilfield Linkedin Profile". Linkedin.com. Retrieved July 20, 2016. 
  36. ^ "ZeniMax Media raises $9.9 million from some big names". VentureBeat. May 30, 2008. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  37. ^ "Sec Form D" (PDF). Sec.gov. August 2, 2007. Retrieved July 20, 2016. 
  38. ^ "ZeniMax Media Inc". Web.archive.org. September 5, 2008. Archived from the original on September 5, 2008. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  39. ^ "How Legal A-Listers Unwind". Washingtonian. December 1, 2006. Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  40. ^ "Bethesda Game Studios Opens Montreal Office". ZeniMax.com. December 9, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2016. 
  41. ^ Remo, Chris (June 24, 2009). "Bethesda Parent ZeniMax Acquires id Software". Gamasutra. Retrieved June 24, 2009. 
  42. ^ "Now Hiring: id Software Hiring for New Office in Frankfurt". Bethblog.com. August 5, 2015. Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  43. ^ "ZeniMax Media Aquires Arkane Studios". ZeniMax.com. August 12, 2010. Archived from the original on November 29, 2010. Retrieved July 20, 2016. 
  44. ^ "Tango Gameworks, led by Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami, joins ZeniMax | Bethesda Blog". Bethblog.com. October 28, 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  45. ^ Gilbert, Ben (November 5, 2010). "Machinegames purchased by ZeniMax Media, becomes ZeniMax Sweden". Joystiq. Retrieved November 8, 2010. 
  46. ^ "Welcome to Battlecry Studios! | Bethesda Blog". Bethblog.com. October 3, 2012. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  47. ^ "Bethesda Softworks Opens Australia Office". Bethblog.com. October 2, 2013. Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  48. ^ "ZeniMax Media Profile". ZeniMax.com. Archived from the original on July 12, 2001. Retrieved July 20, 2016. 
  49. ^ "Public Lives". The New York Times. January 19, 2001. Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  50. ^ "ZeniMax Media Profile". ZeniMax.com. Archived from the original on September 29, 2001. Retrieved February 11, 2016. 
  51. ^ "ThunderWave makes a big splash at Getty Center - Washington Business Journal". Bizjournals.com. December 22, 1997. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  52. ^ "Andrew Rai Linkedin Profile". Linkedin.com. Retrieved July 20, 2016. 
  53. ^ "Joel Breton Biography". Imdb.com. Retrieved July 20, 2016. 
  54. ^ "Flashpoint Productions". MobyGames.com. Retrieved July 20, 2016. 

External links[edit]