ZeniMax Media Inc. is one of the foremost companies involved in video games. It owns a number of highly acclaimed development studios, and publishes their games under a few in-house publishing companies to save costs. It was valued at $1.2 billion, since when it has bought or created five more development studios (including id Software), and seen the release of some very high-selling games such as Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Brink, TESV: Skyrim, and Dishonored.
The company was established in 1999 by co-founders Robert A. Altman and Christopher Weaver (the founder of Bethesda Softworks) as a shell company focused on obtaining funds, to allow Bethesda Softworks to concentrate on making and publishing the games.
ZeniMax Media owns all its subsidiaries outright and therefore holds all the rights to a number of acclaimed franchises; it has also bought a few franchises under its own name. It owns the rights to the franchises of The Elder Scrolls (Bethesda), Doom, Quake, and Wolfenstein (id Software), Fallout and Prey (self-bought).
The company announced a takeover by Microsoft Corporation on September 21, 2020. Microsoft and Zenimax announced that the acquisition was complete on March 9, 2021 and that ZeniMax had become part of the Xbox Game Studios group. The ZeniMax Board of Directors was dissolved following the Microsoft purchase.
- Bethesda Game Studios
- ZeniMax Online Studios
- id Software
- Arkane Studios
- Tango Gameworks
- Battlecry Studios
- Bethesda Softworks
- ZeniMax Asia KK
- ZeniMax Europe Ltd.
- ZeniMax Germany GmbH
- ZeniMax France SAS
- ZeniMax Benelux BV
- ZeniMax Asia Pacific Ltd.
- ZeniMax Australia Pty Ltd
- e-Nexus Studios (internet entertainment).
- XL Translab (computer graphics & multimedia production).
- 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.
- Bethesda Softworks East in Moscow, Russia founded in 2001, closed in 2004.
- BETHESDA + XBOX: JUST GETTING STARTED
- "Microsoft confirms its Bethesda acquisition is complete and 'some games' will be exclusive", March 9, 2021, last accessed 2021-05-12
- "ZeniMax Board Of Directors Dissolved After Xbox's Bethesda Purchase", March 17, 2021, last accessed March 17, 2021