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ZeniMax Media CEO Robert Altman Dies

Robert Altman, ZeniMax Media CEO and Co-Founder, has died. The announcement was made today in a tweet by Bethesda, one of many major gaming companies under parent company ZeniMax. Altman lived an exciting and productive life of 74 years, and he is survived by Lynda Carter, his wife, as well as his two children. His cause of death has not been released.


The Twitter post from Bethesda included an image of Altman smiling, along with an announcement regarding Altman's passing: "We are deeply saddened to tell you of the passing of Robert A. Altman, our Founder and CEO. 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."

Along with the photo, Bethesda shared one of Altman's emails to his employees, which he shared weekly during the pandemic as a way of lifting people's spirits. In this particular email, after speaking at length regarding the "pressure of isolation" and the importance of "[making] time for yourselves daily," Altman praised his coworkers for remaining "always faithful to our core principles of integrity, respect, team, [and] quality." In encouraging the team to take time to toast the then-upcoming 21st birthday of ZeniMax, Altman wrote, "Don't let the day pass without taking a moment to enjoy your remarkable creation."


The message from Bethesda also included sympathy for Altman's family and emphasized the connection shared between his family at work and at home. Under Altman's stewardship of ZeniMax Media, the company has published multiple installments of beloved video game franchises, including The Elder ScrollsFallout, and DoomIn September 2020, ZeniMax Media was purchased by Xbox, setting the stage for a bold new era for the company.

From his early days as a lawyer to his success leading the parent company for Bethesda, Arkane, id Software, MachineGames, and Tango Gameworks, Altman clearly made his mark on the gaming industry. Other notable video game leaders, including Xbox head Phil Spencer and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, have expressed their sympathies regarding Altman's death. 

"I am incredibly saddened by the news that we have lost an industry icon, partner, and close friend Robert Altman," wrote Phil Spencer. "Sending love and strength to his family and all the teams at Zenimax/Bethesda during this very difficult time."

Heartfelt messages like these are sure to continue as Altman's life and work is remembered and celebrated.