Bethesda Softworks has announced ZeniMax co-founder and CEO Robert A. Altman, 74, has passed away. The cause of death has not been revealed. Altman is survived by his wife, Lynda Carter, and their two children, James and Jessica.
“[Altman] 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,” Bethesda wrote in a statement on Twitter. In response to the news, various industry insiders and icons have come out to share condolences.
Stories from inside the company after the news broke told of a group in shock. Altman was a beloved icon within the developer and publisher.
Bethesda also took time to remind its staff “to take time for yourselves daily…keep your perspective, knowing this will pass.”
Altman and Bethesda CTO Christopher Weaver founded ZeniMax Media in 1999, leading into a legacy of incredible AAA game development. The company has been involved in some of the biggest names in the industry. Their early output found success, but it really exploded in potential a few years later. In 2007, Providence Equity Partners invested $300 million in the company and allowed them to push into bigger projects. The Elder Scrolls and Fallout continue to be big parts of that legacy. Also, other games like Doom, Dishonored, and Wolfenstein has cemented the company onto the annals of history.
The company was later sold to Microsoft as part of a huge $7.5 billion deal in late 2020. Microsoft now owns the library of Bethesda and ZeniMax IPs.
“We are generally considered the company who creates the highest quality games,” Altman said in a 2019 interview. “As a result, we have an enormous fan base around the world.”