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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Bethesda Softworks - ZeniMax Acquires id Software!

Default Bethesda Softworks - ZeniMax Acquires id Software!

June 24th, 2009, 18:42
This surprising PM came in a few minutes ago. The id founders cash in their chips and Bethesda gets several valuable brands and id's technology.
[quote]
ZeniMax Media Acquires id Software
Brings together two of world’s best game studios
Library of powerhouse franchises will include DOOM, Fallout, The Elder Scrolls,
QUAKE, Wolfenstein and RAGE
June 24, 2009 (Rockville, MD) – ZeniMax Media Inc., parent company of noted game publisher Bethesda Softworks, today announced it has completed the acquisition of legendary game studio, id Software, creators of world-renowned games such as DOOM, QUAKE, Wolfenstein, and its upcoming title, RAGE. The acquisition by ZeniMax Media joins together two of the finest, most respected videogame developers in the world, combining the first person shooter (FPS) expertise of id Software with acclaimed role playing game (RPG) developer Bethesda Game Studios – creators of the 2008 Game of the Year, Fallout 3, and the 2006 Game of the Year, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Bethesda Softworks will publish the titles of id Software other than upcoming releases previously committed to other publishers.
Founded in 1991, id Software established itself as an industry leader with some of the best-selling and most critically acclaimed video games of all time. id Software created the original first-person shooter, Wolfenstein 3D, and subsequently set new standards in the genre with the blockbuster releases of its DOOM and QUAKE titles. In addition, id Software developed cutting edge, proprietary technology with the id Tech engine which powers many notable FPS titles, and continues to make great advances in game technology under the direction of John Carmack, one of the country’s technology leaders and a member of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) Hall of Fame.
Todd Hollenshead, CEO of id Software, commented on the transaction: “This was a unique opportunity to team with a smart, sophisticated publisher like Bethesda Softworks where the interests of the studio and the publisher will be fully aligned in the development and marketing of our titles. In addition, we will now have financial and business resources to support the future growth of id Software, a huge advantage which will result in more and even better games for our fans.”
id Software will continue to operate as a studio under the direction of its founder, John Carmack. No changes will be made in the operations of id Software in the development of its games. All the principals at id Software have signed long-term employment contracts, assuring they will continue in their roles developing games at the studio.
“This puts id Software in a wonderful position going forward,” said John Carmack, who will continue to serve in his current role as Technical Director. “We will now be able to grow and extend all of our franchises under one roof, leveraging our capabilities across multiple teams while enabling forward looking research to be done in the service of all of them. We will be bigger and stronger, as we recruit the best talent to help us build the landmark games of the future. As trite as it may be for me to say that I am extremely pleased and excited about this deal, I am."

Robert Altman, the founder, Chairman & CEO of ZeniMax Media stated, “We, along with many others, consider id Software to be among the finest game studios in the world, with extraordinary design, artistic and technical capabilities. They have demonstrated, repeatedly, that rare ability to create franchise properties that are critical and commercial successes. …More information.
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June 24th, 2009, 18:42
No offense, but why would this be breaking news? It's pretty big news for the gaming industry, sure, but id Software doesn't hold any titles of interest to RPG fans, so the only thing of interest is that ZeniMax Media also happens to own an RPG studio, which isn't relevant to this deal in any way.

Still big news. Just not for us RPG fans.
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June 24th, 2009, 18:56
Huge news and shocking.

Or maybe not. The Wolfenstein, Quake and Doom franchises, once dominate and genre defining haven't performed as well in light of stiff competition. Half Life 1/2 and a plethora of other WW2 FPS have killed the market they once controlled.

Its strange seeing a company which made its mark as an also ran RPG maker acquiring the premier FPS company.

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June 24th, 2009, 19:11
I don't see how this could be good
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June 24th, 2009, 19:15
Big news - and most pprobably influencing the technology behind future RPGs that are going to be made by Bethesda.

ID has often been the spearhead of newest technology - I think this is the only reason why they bought them.

The franchises/brands are a nice bonus, then.

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June 24th, 2009, 19:16
Wow, big news indeed…Doom FPS/RPG?
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June 24th, 2009, 19:17
I would prefer a Commander Keen RPG.
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June 24th, 2009, 19:22
Wow, huge news!

I would have (naively) thought that ID might be quite low on cash flow at the moment, not having had a major release recently, while ZeniMax are probably near a crest in theirs, so certainly makes sense.

I don't think it'll change much though, other than give ZeniMax a bargaining tool against GameBryo in the engine stakes.
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June 24th, 2009, 19:28
Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
I don't think it'll change much though, other than give ZeniMax a bargaining tool against GameBryo in the engine stakes.
Hah. Imagine Bethesda's programmers trying to handle id Engine 5. That'd be hilarious.
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June 24th, 2009, 19:57
Prediction: in the next 5-10 years, these bloated mega-conglomerate, company-swallowing game studios, like EA and Zeni-max, are going to collapse under their own ponderous tonnage.

There aren't many industries where buying every single one of your competitors, until there are only two or three contenders for an entire market, is a good long term strategy. For the computer games industry, in an economy that is in the middle of a death-spiral worldwide, I think it will ultimately be a disaster.

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June 24th, 2009, 20:35
Speaking of big news RPG wise, someone might have missed the more breaking, though not that much really combining of BioWare and Mythic . Here as well

On the matter at hand, I don't really find this a great deal. ID had hard time finding publishers, and Zenimax had plenty of cash (is this really even news?). While they have absolutely nothing in common, and ID will probably continue to operate as usual, with Zenimax publishing but not interfering in their work. And probably at some point start to use ID engines for their games. The more interesting part is whether or not they'll follow up with buying out more companies …
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June 24th, 2009, 20:39
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
Hah. Imagine Bethesda's programmers trying to handle id Engine 5. That'd be hilarious.
Doesn't it come with fully packaged design tools like everything else these days?
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June 24th, 2009, 20:58
Originally Posted by Polyester View Post
Speaking of big news RPG wise, someone might have missed the more breaking, though not that much really combining of BioWare and Mythic . Here as well
It was sent in an hour or two ago. Will be posted later tonight.
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June 24th, 2009, 21:00
Originally Posted by Polyester View Post
Speaking of big news RPG wise, someone might have missed the more breaking, though not that much really combining of BioWare and Mythic . Here as well
That's way more breaking, even if Kotaku broadly misrepresents the story. The leaving of Mark Jacobs is relevant if nothing else, but this really looks like a lead-in to merging Mythic into BioWare Austin.

Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
Doesn't it come with fully packaged design tools like everything else these days?
I would assume it does. But Bethesda barely managed to make a functional game on a polished, stable engine like Gamebryo. Do you really want to hand them experimental tech? They might blow up your computer.
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June 24th, 2009, 21:07
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
Prediction: in the next 5-10 years, these bloated mega-conglomerate, company-swallowing game studios, like EA and Zeni-max, are going to collapse under their own ponderous tonnage.

There aren't many industries where buying every single one of your competitors, until there are only two or three contenders for an entire market, is a good long term strategy. For the computer games industry, in an economy that is in the middle of a death-spiral worldwide, I think it will ultimately be a disaster.
Maybe you're right (and that's the spirit!), but gobbling up the competition is a tried and true strategy. Cisco bought companies left and right, averaging more than two acquisition per month for a few years, and it sure worked for them. Also Southwestern Bell, the Baby Bell who grew so much through acquisition that it eventually bought out Ma Bell, becoming the new AT&T (the company that originally spun it off as a result of industry regulation).

But both those companies had a growth strategy. If ZeniMax has one, it didn't mention it in its press release which sort of sounded like, "We're not id's new owner; we're id's new financial backer."

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June 24th, 2009, 21:17
Originally Posted by Squeek View Post
If ZeniMax has one [growth strategy], it didn't mention it in its press release which sort of sounded like, "We're not id's new owner; we're id's new financial backer."
They certainly do have a growth strategy. And whatever it really is would most likely not be discussed in a public press release. A lot of the assertions in this thread are laughable. And if they fail it won't be because of any of the negative things pointed out in this thread so far.

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June 24th, 2009, 21:23
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
They certainly do have a growth strategy. And whatever it really is would most likely not be discussed in a public press release. A lot of the assertions in this thread are laughable. And if they fail it won't be because of any of the negative things pointed out in this thread so far.
Relax, man. I assume they do (doesn't every business?). Why wouldn't that be mentioned in a press release? I've read hundreds of them where companies referred to their growth strategy.

It was a comment, an observation, not a criticism. Can I assume you're a ZeniMax fan?

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June 24th, 2009, 21:31
Enter the speculation on who's next up for grabs for ZeniMax. Any good studios left on the market these days …
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June 24th, 2009, 21:36
Originally Posted by Polyester View Post
Enter the speculation on who's next up for grabs for ZeniMax. Any good studios left on the market these days …
Obsidian Entertainment.
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June 24th, 2009, 21:40
Does anybody bother licensing that engine out anymore?

I'm going to assume they're gonna fund a Doom 4 or another Quake. This isn't the 1st FPS Beth has made. How many WW2 shooters are available on console?

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