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Bethesda has broken the news that Robert Altman, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of its parent company, sadly passed away at the age of 73 this week.
Originally trained as a lawyer, Altman collaborated with developer Christopher Weaver to co-found ZeniMax Media in 1999, as a new parent company for Bethesda Softworks. With Altman in the role of chief executive and Weaver in the role of chief technical officer, Bethesda became the home of numerous iconic IPs like Fallout, Rage, Doom, The Elder Scrolls, Dishonored, Wolfenstein, and The Evil Within.
Late last year, ZeniMax Media announced that it was going to be acquired by Microsoft, which was a momentous move pulled off weeks before the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S were set to launch. The future of these franchises is likely to transfer to PC and Xbox to be timed exclusives before wandering over to platforms like the PlayStation and Switch.
In a post to Bethesda's Twitter account, the company praised Altman's ambition as a "true visionary" and an "extraordinary leader," while remaining down-to-earth and concerned with the wellbeing of employees. "He was a true visionary, friend, and believer in the spirit of people and the power of what they could accomplish together," it said, and attached one of the weekly emails that he would send to the entire team to "keep in touch" while remote working. In it, he describes the positives of freeing up time to be at home with friends or family, yet mentions that people should ensure they look after themselves owing to the "pressure of isolation." He also thanks the team for their contributions in creating the company that Bethesda is today, and to "reflect on the long journey we have taken together" over two decades.
"We are proud to carry on the values and principles Robert taught us," concluded the post. "We extend our deepest sympathies to Robert's family, who are a part of our family and have always treated us as a part of theirs." Altman leaves behind his wife, Lynda Carter, and their children James and Jessica Altman. As director of publishing operations at Bethesda, James has published his own letter about his father's passing on the company's website, which is available to read here.
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