ZeniMax Media Inc. is an American developer, marketer, publisher, and distributor of computer and video games. It is based in Rockville, Maryland.

ZeniMax is best known as the owner of Bethesda Softworks, the publisher of The Elder Scrolls game series, as well as the Fallout series starting with Fallout 3, focused mainly on computer role playing games. It also owns other game development studios, most notably Bethesda Game Studios and id Software. Softworks also publishes games developed by third party developers.

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,[1][2] and an additional $150 million in 2010 for an undisclosed amount of shares, now owning a minority stake in the company.[3] ProSiebenSat.1 Media owns a 6.83% stake in ZeniMax as of December 31, 2015.[4]

ZeniMax was reportedly valued at $1.2 billion, in 2007[5] and later rumored to be valued at $2.5 billion or more in 2016. As 2020 ZeniMax employs more than 2000 people.[6]


ZeniMax was founded in 1999 by Bethesda Softworks founder Chris Weaver and Robert A. Altman. Weaver's vision was to use Bethesda Softworks as the basis to create a hybrid media company to create cross-media properties such as PC and console games; interactive TV; mobile; web and new media. Weaver invited Altman to help him run the new company, but potential investors were wary of Altman because of his previous involvement in the BCCI scandal as well as making new investments in the field. As part of the deal, Weaver, sole owner of Bethesda Softworks, contributed his stock so that the new shell company (Zenimax) would be able to obtain funding. Robert Altman installed himself as CEO and convinced Weaver to take the position of CTO — a move that ultimately resulted in Weaver being forced out by Altman in 2002. Although still the largest shareholder, Weaver no longer has any day-to-day responsibilities with Zenimax. Altman is still CEO.

Under ZeniMax, Bethesda developed and published The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Bethesda is also the publisher of three new Star Trek games, Star Trek: Legacy (For PC/Xbox 360), Star Trek: Tactical Assault (for Nintendo DS/PlayStation Portable), and Star Trek: Encounters (PlayStation 2).

In 2004, ZeniMax acquired the Fallout franchise from Interplay Entertainment. 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, but most of our staff is on it now." Fallout 3 was released in October 2008.

On June 24, 2009, it was announced that ZeniMax had purchased independent developer id Software.[7]

Corporate governanceEdit

ZeniMax's Board of Directors consists of eight individuals:

From 1999:

  • Robert A. Altman (Chairman & CEO)
  • Ernie Del (Senior Advisor)
  • Leslie Moonves (Private Investor)
  • Harry E. Sloan (Chairman, Silver Eagle Acquisition Corp; Former Chairman and CEO of Metro-|MGM (2005-2009) and SBS Broadcasting (1990-2001)
  • Robert S. Trump (President, Trump Management, Inc, brother of Donald Trump)[8][9]

From 2007:

  • Jerry Bruckheimer (Jerry Bruckheimer Films)
  • Michael Dominguez (Managing Director, Providence Equity Partners Inc.)
  • Cal Ripken, Jr (President & CEO, Ripken Baseball, Inc.)

Previous Board MembersEdit

  • Todd Hollenshead, former President of id Software according to a 2009 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filling by ZeniMax[10]
  • Mark Schneider, former Chairman and CEO of United Pan-Europe Communications, Inc
  • Christopher Weaver, Bethesda Softworks founder[11]

Outside advisorsEdit

ZeniMax's Business Advisory Board has included the following individuals over time.The Names of ZeniMax's advisors were listed on ZeniMax"s website from 2000 till 2009. In late 2009 the names were removed from ZeniMax's website for unknown reasons. It is unknown if any of the advisors still advise the company.

Listed from 2000 to 2009

  • John A. Merrigan (Partner of DLA Piper US LLP. Former Democratic Business Council Chairman from 1996 to 2000)[12]
  • Jon Feltheimer (CEO of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.)
  • Terry McAuliffe Governor of Virginia (2014-Present), former Democratic National Committee Chairman from 2001 to 2005
  • George J. Mitchell (Chairman Emeritus at DLA Piper, former Chairman of DLA Piper (2007-2012) and The Walt Disney Company (2004-2007), former Senate Majority Leader from 1989 to 1995.
  • Miguel Sanchez-Nevarro Redo (CEO and Chairman of Editorial Mexico Desconocido)
  • Paul J. Wilmot (Chairman and CEO of Paul Wilmot Communications)

Listed from 2001 to 2009

  • Tony Coelho (Former United States House of Representatives Majority Whip from 1989 to 1990)

Listed from 2000 to 2004

  • Dean Devlin Co-Founder of Centropolis Entertainment[13]
  • Mark Bilfield, former Director of Integrated Marketing, at Saatchi & Saatchi[14][15]


  1. RR Donnelley Private Equity. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved on October 18, 2012.
  2. ZeniMax Media Buys DOOM Maker | peHUBpeHUB. (June 25, 2009). Retrieved on January 23, 2013.
  3. Oculus, Facebook Face Challenge to Rights Over 'Rift'. The Wall Street Journal (May 1, 2014). Retrieved on June 13, 2016.
  4. Financial Statements as of December 31, 2015 and combined management report (April 28, 2016). Retrieved on June 5, 2016.
  5. ProSiebenSat.1 hold talks with US game producer ZeniMax. Telecompaper (November 2, 2007). Retrieved on January 23, 2013.
  6. "I don't know what the exact number is. It's somewhere over 2000 now, I think (March 7, 2020). Retrieved on March 9, 2020.
  7. ZeniMax Media Acquires id Software. (June 24, 2009). Retrieved on December 4, 2016.
  8. Jonson, Richard. "Donald Trump's brother Robert emerges", January 17, 2016. Retrieved on June 8, 2016. 
  9. Welsh, Oli. "Owning the Territory", January 20, 2009. Retrieved on July 16, 2016. 
  10. Sec Form D. Retrieved on January 23, 2013.
  11. Zenimax Media Inc. | profile - board of directors. (September 29, 2000). Archived from the original on September 29, 2000. Retrieved on January 23, 2013.
  12. John A. Merrigan. Retrieved on July 20, 2016.
  13. Zenimax Media Inc. | profile - business advisory board. (September 23, 2001). Archived from the original on February 11, 2001. Retrieved on January 23, 2013.
  14. - 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"
  15. Mark Bilfield Linkedin Profile. Retrieved on July 20, 2016.
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