ZeniMax Online Studios

ZeniMax Online Studios LLC is an American video game developer and a subsidiary of ZeniMax Media, specializing in massively multiplayer online games.[1] The company developed The Elder Scrolls Online and its downloadable content.[1] ZeniMax Online Studios had around 250 employees in 2012.[2] In addition to the main Hunt Valley, Maryland based office, ZeniMax Online also maintains a satellite studio in Budapest, Hungary as well as a customer support center in Galway, Ireland and an additional office in Austin, Texas.

ZeniMax Online Studios LLC
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryVideo games
FoundedAugust 1, 2007; 16 years ago (2007-08-01)
FounderMatt Firor
Headquarters,
US
Key people
Matt Firor (president)
Number of employees
250 (2012)
ParentZeniMax Media
DivisionsZeniMax Online Studios Hungary
Websitezenimaxonline.com

History

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2007–2020: Formation, The Elder Scrolls Online

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The formation of ZeniMax Online Studios was announced by ZeniMax Media on August 1, 2007, to be headed by Matt Firor, a massively multiplayer online game designer and veteran of Mythic Entertainment.[3]

The company was built to specialize in the creation of a massively multiplayer online game.[4] In 2007 the company announced a partnership with Simutronics for the use of HeroEngine.[5] In June 2008, ZeniMax Online Studios moved into its current office in Hunt Valley.[6] On March 15, 2010, ZeniMax Online Studios announced that it will be using the Fork Particle SDK to create the particle effects in its unannounced upcoming massively multiplayer game.[7] On March 15, 2011, ZeniMax Online Studios announced plans to open a customer support center in Galway, Ireland. The company's new facility will provide customer support for players of their future massively multiplayer online games and is expected to result in the creation of hundreds of jobs over the next several years.[8][9] On August 8, 2011, ZeniMax Online Studios selected Splunk to be its platform for business intelligence, network operations monitoring, and operational intelligence.[10] On March 6, 2012, ZeniMax Online Studios signed a licensing deal with Elastic Path Software.[11] On May 3, 2012, Game Informer announced that ZeniMax Online Studios's video game in development will take place in The Elder Scrolls universe, approximately a millennium before the events of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.[12] The game, The Elder Scrolls Online, was released in 2014.[13]

2020–present: New Intellectual property, Microsoft, Company expansion

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In December 2020, ZeniMax Online Studios formed a satellite office in San Diego to work on an original intellectual property.[14] Ben Jones, Creative Director at ZeniMax Online Studios stated in October 2022 that the company was developing the new IP for four and a half years with a team of about 200 people.[15] ZeniMax Media was acquired by Microsoft for US$7.5 billion in March 2021 and became part of Xbox Game Studios.[16][17]

ZeniMax Media purchased Hungarian studio Nemesys Games in 2022, and rebranded them as ZeniMax Online Studios Hungary.[18][19]

300 QA testers, a majority at ZeniMax Studios voted to unionize as ZeniMax Workers United-CWA in January 2023. This follows the unionization efforts of QA testers at Activision Blizzard which was also acquired by Microsoft.[20] In 2024, Microsoft signed a labor-neutrality agreement, agreeing not to interfere with any unionization efforts in all ZeniMax Media subsidiaries.[21]

Games developed

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Year Title Platform(s) Notes
2014 The Elder Scrolls Online[22] macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Stadia
2016 Doom Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia Additional work[23]
2018 Fallout 76 Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One Additional work[24]

Cancelled games

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Title Platform(s) Notes
Commander Keen[25] Android, iOS Cancelled[26]

References

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  1. ^ a b "ZeniMax Online Studios". Zenimaxonline.com. Archived from the original on September 13, 2008. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
  2. ^ "The Elder Scrolls Online: Reinventing a Franchise in an Online World | GamesIndustry International". Gamesindustry.biz. July 17, 2012. Archived from the original on May 10, 2013. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
  3. ^ Dobson, Jason (August 1, 2007). "Bethesda Parent Company Announces ZeniMax Online Studios". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on November 1, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  4. ^ "ZeniMax Online Studios". Zenimaxonline.com. August 1, 2007. Archived from the original on September 18, 2008. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
  5. ^ Alexander, Leigh. "News - ZeniMax Online Studios Licenses Simutronics HeroEngine For New MMO". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on June 20, 2012. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
  6. ^ "ZeniMax Online Studios". Zenimaxonline.com. Archived from the original on September 17, 2008. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
  7. ^ Remo, Chris (March 15, 2010). "ZeniMax Online Adopts Fork Particle Tech For MMO". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on November 15, 2013. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
  8. ^ Graft, Kris (March 15, 2011). "Bethesda Sibling ZeniMax Online Founding Ireland Office To Support 'Future MMOs'". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on May 14, 2013. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
  9. ^ Chester, Chris (November 26, 2007). "Zenimax Online bulks up with HeroEngine | Massively". Massively.joystiq.com. Archived from the original on February 7, 2011. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
  10. ^ "ZeniMax Online Studios Selects Splunk as its Engine for Machine Data". Splunk. August 8, 2011. Archived from the original on May 3, 2018. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  11. ^ "ZeniMax Online Studios". Elastic Path. March 6, 2012. Archived from the original on March 22, 2012. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
  12. ^ Biessener, Adam (May 3, 2012). "June Cover Revealed: The Elder Scrolls Online". Game Informer. Archived from the original on May 12, 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  13. ^ Sliva, Marty (June 10, 2013). "E3 2013: Elder Scrolls Online Coming to PS4, Xbox One". IGN. Archived from the original on November 12, 2020. Retrieved October 11, 2013.
  14. ^ "ZeniMax Online Studios forms new satellite studio in San Diego". GamesIndustry.biz. December 8, 2020. Archived from the original on December 18, 2020. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
  15. ^ "Product Development in the Gaming Industry — Ben Jones, Creative Director at ZeniMax Online Studios". YouTube. October 21, 2022. Event occurs at 2:00. Archived from the original on November 20, 2022. Retrieved July 23, 2023.
  16. ^ Bass, Dina; Schreier, Jason (September 21, 2020). "Microsoft to Buy Bethesda for $7.5 Billion to Boost Xbox". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on September 21, 2020. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  17. ^ Robinson, Andy (March 9, 2021). "Microsoft confirms its Bethesda acquisition is complete and 'some games' will be exclusive". Video Games Chronicle. Archived from the original on March 9, 2021. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  18. ^ április 5. 16:23, Száler Martin Publikálva 2023 (April 5, 2023). "A Bethesda anyavállalata megszerezte a magyar Nemesys Games csapatát, így már Budapesten is van irodája". IGN Hungary (in Hungarian). Archived from the original on May 19, 2023. Retrieved May 19, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  19. ^ "Bethesda Quietly Acquired Nemesys Games Last Year, Now ZeniMax Online Studios Hungary". GamingBolt. Archived from the original on April 22, 2023. Retrieved May 19, 2023.
  20. ^ Conditt, Jessica (January 3, 2023). "Microsoft is now the home of the video game industry's largest union". Engadget. Retrieved June 12, 2024.
  21. ^ Shanklin, Will (June 6, 2024). "Microsoft and CWA forge labor neutrality agreement covering all ZeniMax workers". Engadget. Retrieved June 18, 2024.
  22. ^ Gardner, Jack (May 3, 2012). "June Cover Revealed: The Elder Scrolls Online - Features". www.GameInformer.com. Archived from the original on May 12, 2013. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
  23. ^ "Bethesda Joins Xbox – Roundtable". YouTube. March 11, 2021. Event occurs at 37:18. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved July 9, 2021.
  24. ^ "Todd Howard nous parle de Fallout 76". YouTube. October 1, 2018. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  25. ^ Jones, Richard (June 10, 2019). "A new Commander Keen game has been unveiled – but only for mobile". pcgamesn.com. Archived from the original on September 22, 2020. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  26. ^ Bald, Cameron (June 29, 2020). "Bethesda's Commander Keen mobile game has seemingly been scrapped". www.pocketgamer.com. Archived from the original on August 27, 2022. Retrieved August 27, 2022.
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