A pioneer of the gaming industry has passed away. Today, we learned that Bethesda Softworks co-founder and CEO Robert A. Altman has died. Bethesda shared the news via Twitter today, stating that “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.”
You can see the full statement, and letter from Altman, that Bethesda shared on Twitter below:
Together with Christopher Weaver, Altman founded Bethesda Softworks in 1986, later founding its parent company ZeniMax Media in 1999. With Altman as CEO, ZeniMax Media would grow as a major third-party publisher, founding ZeniMax Online Studios and acquiring game development studios such as Alpha Dog Games, Arkane Studios, MachineGames and Tango Gameworks.
Source: Artemisboy / Wikimedia Commons
Over the last decade, Bethesda Softworks has published game franchises such as The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom, Wolfenstein, Dishonored and Prey, while maintaining its status as a large privately held gaming company until recently. In September 2020, we learned that ZeniMax Media agreed to be acquired by Microsoft, an acquisition that is currently undergoing regulatory review.
Microsoft expects ZeniMax Media to be fully acquired sometime before end of June 2021. When it is completed, Microsoft’s first-party will grow from 15 to 23 development studios with Bethesda alongside Xbox Game Studios. Some of Bethesda’s major upcoming games include titles like Deathloop and the sci-fi adventure Starfield.