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Founder of ZeniMax Media — Bethesda's Parent Company — Passes Away

ZeniMax Media founder and CEO Robert A. Altman has passed away. Bethesda, a ZeniMax subsidiary, announced the news on its Twitter page on February 5.

“We are deeply saddened to tell you of the passing of Robert A. Altman, our Founder and CEO,” wrote Bethesda’s Twitter page. “He was a true visionary, friend, and believer in the spirit of people and the power of what they could accomplish together. He was an extraordinary leader, and an even better human being.”

Born in 1947, Altman founded ZeniMax Media in 1999 with Bethesda Softworks founder Christopher Weaver. ZeniMax is also the parent company of studios like id Software, Arkane Studios, MachineGames, and Tango Gameworks.

Many prolific games were released by the studios under ZeniMax Media, including Doom, Dishonoured, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, Fallout 4, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. A subsidiary with the Zenimax name, Zenimax Online Studios, was founded in 2007 and is responsible for developing The Elder Scrolls Online.

In September 2020, Microsoft announced that it would be acquiring ZeniMax Media and Bethesda Softworks. In a letter posted on ZeniMax’s website, Altman’s son, James Altman, wrote, “Closing our deal with Microsoft will be a bittersweet moment for all of us. But I take comfort in knowing that our Company is and will be in the capable hands of Robert’s friends. And I know that we will continue to honor his legacy by making the world’s greatest games for our fans.”

Altman is survived by his wife Lynda Carter and two children. A cause of death was not announced.


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