Bethesda parent scores $300 million, readying expansion

ZeniMax Media gets massive funding package to help develop massively multiplayer titles and other game development; PS3 Shivering Isles coming to Sony's console solo.

Recent headlines show that making games has become a big business. One month ago, an Abu Dhabi-based firm invested $500 million in Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Two weeks ago, Electronic Arts bought BioWare/Pandemic for $860 million, seven days before NPD reported September was a $1.3 billion month for the US game industry.

Today, another major deal was announced. ZeniMax Media, owner of Bethesda Softworks, announced it has landed a massive investment from Providence Equity Partners Inc. In return for an undisclosed amount of preferred stock, the company will receive $300 million in funding to "increase game development and publishing, facilitate acquisitions, and finance massively multiplayer online games."

The MMOG projects in question are being developed under much secrecy at ZeniMax Online, which opened its doors this past August. Much of the remainder of the money will be used to "allow ZeniMax and Bethesda to think several steps ahead and grow," a spokesperson told GameSpot. Though next to nothing is known about the MMOG projects, Bethesda's upcoming releases include next month's Star Trek: Conquest (Wii, PlayStation 2) and next year's Fallout 3 (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC).

Also as a result of the deal, Providence managing director Michael Dominguez will sit on ZeniMax's board of directors. Other members of the board include CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves, MGM Chairman and CEO Harry Sloan, former baseball player and Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., and famed film and television producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

In other Bethesda-related news, the developer-publisher just announced it will release the Elder Scrolls IV: The Shivering Isles as an independent product for the PlayStation 3 on November 20. The expansion pack, which was released on PC and Xbox 360 via disc and download earlier this year, was previously only available for the PS3 as part of the Game of the Year Edition of the original Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, released earlier this month. The Elder Scrolls IV: The Shivering Isles PS3 expansion will retail for just $29.99, but will require Oblivion to play.

Written By

Want the latest news about Fallout 3?

Fallout 3

Fallout 3

Follow

Discussion

95 comments
aaronobst
aaronobst

I'm glad now every PS3 owner will be able to experience the Shivering Isles, luckily for me however that I bought the GOTY edition :)

adecoy95
adecoy95

no bethesda, dont make an mmo, i promise you it will fail, you havent even made a multiplayer backend for oblivion, how on earth are you going to have to knowhow to make such a massive mmo system?

Ozzza
Ozzza

I want an Elder Scrolls V the most, but please Bethesda make also an ES MMORPG.

Lantz_Smiddy
Lantz_Smiddy

The thought of the elderscrolls series becoming multiplayer fascinates me... but how can they make the same theme as an mmo... because in morrowind or oblivion when you killed someone they literally died and didnt come back... but man if i could play a game like oblivion with my friends to go out and quest with the same graphics and feel of the game... that would be amazing... they would make like an infinite amout of money...lol sounds great bethesda you have yet to fail me!love your games bethesda keep up the good work!!

calebtheshark
calebtheshark

We need it for the Playstation store,and the Vile Lair,thank Bethesda for the shivering Isles.

skwiid
skwiid

BETHESDAY SHUOLD TOTALLY TRANSFORM OBLIVION INTO AN MMO THAT WOULD BE AMAZING! I WOULD PLAY THAT GAME FOR EVER!

skwiid
skwiid

does this mean oblivion will become an xbox live multiplayer game?

commorancy
commorancy

It's about time that we see the Oblivion expansions start to hit PS3. But, in fact, it's too late for me. I've already bought an Xbox 360 and GOTY edition of Oblivion and all of the expansions. So, I won't be buying any expansions on the PS3. Yes, Oblivion plays a bit better on the PS3, but Sony is still a step behind the Xbox 360. Sony better get on the ball and start getting titles before Xbox 360 if they want attract gamers back to the PS3. Sony also needs to make sure to offer a lot more downloadable content than they presently do.

foxhunter10
foxhunter10

I want see NOW the fallout 3 in multiplayer mode!

ninjarat
ninjarat

Finnally we PS3 owners will get the expansion! That's me made up!

Niko_Dragaknov
Niko_Dragaknov

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Agermemnon
Agermemnon

A mmo for consoles is a great idea but i would like it to be cross platform for the bigger user base and not a gindathon like some other out there at the moment .

TMontana1004
TMontana1004

I don't know if you could sucessfully make the elder scrolls into an mmo. i would rather them try it out on Fallout 3.

NUTTY_POO
NUTTY_POO

give me a job! fallout 2 is the best game ever. i have so many ideas you could profit from.

Kcirdor1227
Kcirdor1227

I'd go for TES(or the Realm in which TES takes place) in a diablo type mmo. Retain the game engine currently used, but tweak it to be able to form parties of 3 or 4 and complete quests online if you want or if you choose you can do it offline solo. Also for the PVPers you can choose to enter the arena and duel 1 on 1 up to 4 on 4 or any other type of CTF.

MasterChief725
MasterChief725

An MMO from Bethesda will stand out from the crowd. They're great work on the elder scrolls will show up in this MMO hopefully..

MasterChief725
MasterChief725

hmm....$10 more than 360 version, 1 year late, and comes after new expansion announced...for 360 and PC??!!? just doesnt cut it Sony...

SmArTaLeC1321
SmArTaLeC1321

Its worth the money for the amount of game you get not to mention the quality of this title.

KILLSYOU123
KILLSYOU123

Man i realy wanted shivering Isles but i dont want to pay 30$ for it!

RoC1909
RoC1909

Great....More PAY to PLAY games coming out :( Got to keep making that money after a publisher has already FLEECED 50 bucks out of our pockets!!! I am beginning to like the Playstation Network more and more. Gaming for Free!!!!

Nerkcon
Nerkcon

@ fatzombiepigeon I agree completely the similar voices got so annoying! Some weren't even completed! When you talk to a old lady beggar about the king being dead she sudden has the voice of the young wealthy woman you talk to. That made me miss the old chat boxes. The A.I. were stupid, the level system was horrible, the skills and class choices were downgraded, and the world was generic. Morrowind > Oblivion.

Beesond
Beesond

LOL, good for you Maxxorz

maxxorz
maxxorz

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Muzykmann
Muzykmann

Wait wait wait... Cal Ripken Jr is on the ZeniMax board of directors?!?! ... I cannot even begin to fathom what he's doing there.

Bradley7777
Bradley7777

Does this mean dat there is still gonna be a GOTY Edition????

ratradler
ratradler

It's about time they release a download for the Shivering Isles. I was seriously starting to regret buying the origional PS3 version of the game. Hopefully in the future Sony and thier third party developers can stay on top of it, otherwise the safe bet will always be going with the 360 version.

ninjajuggalo810
ninjajuggalo810

fallout 3 mmo is also being made by interplay not bethesda

makemeweak
makemeweak

I am sooo sick of MMOs. It's very disappointing to see good IP go to waste on an MMO.

Megawizard
Megawizard

At this rate, the only games in existence in 15 years will be half-baked MMOs.

Dekan69
Dekan69

In response Gruug "Why isn't anyone speculating that the MMO could be Fallout? Seems I have read that "rumor" around somewhere. NOT FO 3 coming in 2008 as that is too soon. But, sometime in 2009-10 would be about right." It isn't going to be a fallout mmo. The reason why is because bethesda only has the rights to make fallout games for the console and PC. Interplay who made the orginal fallouts still owns the rights to make an mmo out of the license. In fact that is why you have heard something about a fallout mmo, because Interplay is continuing to try and find funding for the project. So bethesda is not aloud to make an mmo out of it.

Legacyoftain
Legacyoftain

If they want to do an MMO more power to them...but don't make it TES V...if you want to do say TES: Lost Chapters or some offshoot using that ES universe then thats cool..but TES V should be strictly offline....thats TES appeal is the fact they are THE single player games...they set the bar for how an offline game should be. Dont get lazy Bethseda...there are enough High Fantasy MMOs out there already...stick to what you rock at...making some of the best games of all time.

CapcaS
CapcaS

Assuming it would be a TES MMO, they would have to have the exact right formula or it would ruin the game.

Gruug
Gruug

Why isn't anyone speculating that the MMO could be Fallout? Seems I have read that "rumor" around somewhere. NOT FO 3 coming in 2008 as that is too soon. But, sometime in 2009-10 would be about right.

weiz
weiz

The Elder Scrolls will never be anything other than a single player game.

NuZZ01
NuZZ01

Donut, Why the hell would that happen? And I heard the MMO is star wars or something. (Maybe another bunch, but it sounds about right...) Some of you are scared of change. What is it going to hurt if there is another new game out there for you not to play?

SkankinForFalco
SkankinForFalco

With Conan coming out for the 360 in March(Hopefully) It's going to be a tad bit difficult to make an outstanding MMO for a Console.

DonutTrooper
DonutTrooper

Hmmmm....Kinda liked Oblivion because it WASN'T an MMO. It seemed like an MMO world that didn't have to have the hassle of other players calling me "noob" or yelling "4 strength 4 stam leather belt. Aaaah, oooh, oooaaah." Leave the formula as it is, but if you want to make an Elder Scrolls, MMO, PLEASE make an offline version.

maccer101
maccer101

A GOOD mmorpg on a console would be a good option, i get it!

bodylotion
bodylotion

The Elder Scrolls games aren't meant to play MMO....

Ra-Devil
Ra-Devil

I want this MMO in development to be TES V. I've wanted an online compatible Elder Scrolls game ever since I played Morrowind. If they did that, I would die a happy man... or if they at least put online play of SOME kind into TES V, I'd be happy too...

elrebo
elrebo

You know that companies put famous/celebrity business men on the board of directors just to make them look better. I doubt that those poeple even say or do much at meetings. All they have to do is show up for an hour or two every couple of months and get 15K+ an hour seems like a good deal to me.

Misfit119
Misfit119

God, took long enough to release it. Although its still a waste to own Oblivion on the PS3 since you can't get any of the downloadable content.

blande
blande

LiliShake hit the nail on the head. Just because Cal doesn't know about the development of video games doesn't mean he can't invest in them. Stuff like this happens all the time.

LiliShake
LiliShake

@jazilla How to invest in them?

jazilla
jazilla

LOL, what the heck does Cal Ripken know about videogames.

Shas_La_Kais
Shas_La_Kais

"Oh no....TES Online, what a waste of space. There are more then enough MMO games, but a openworld single player game is rare enough. Hopefully it's not TES Online but what other franchise do they have that is MMO worthy?" They could always make a new one....or make another Star Trek flop

assault120
assault120

I'm not playing Oblivion that much.Damn,its so huge and if there wasn't any horse in it,this game would never end ;)

ronnet
ronnet

Oh no....TES Online, what a waste of space. There are more then enough MMO games, but a openworld single player game is rare enough. Hopefully it's not TES Online but what other franchise do they have that is MMO worthy?