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Bethesda MMO studio sees substantial investment

Chris Chester

An Elder Scrolls MMO may be closer to conception than we were previously aware, as Gamasutra reports that Bethesda parent company ZeniMax Media has gotten a massive buff in cash from Providence Equity Partners to, and here we quote, "Fund future growth, ramp up publishing and development, facilitate acquisitions, and finance MMOGs."

This comes on the heels of the formation of ZeniMax Online Studios, an MMOG studio formed by estranged Mythic Entertainment founder Matt Firor in Hunt Valley, MD. While our knee-jerk reaction is to assume they'll be working on an Elder Scrolls MMOG, just given the success of Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, it's also worth remembering that Bethesda owns the rights to the Fallout franchise. We normally wouldn't stoop to this kind of scandalous rumor-mongering, but the announcement specifically mentions "MMOGs" in the plural. Assuming Elder Scrolls is numero uno, what else besides Fallout could they bring to the MMO genre? We know Interplay technically owns the rights to a Fallout MMO, but Bethesda just got quite a bit richer...

More corporate back-patting after the jump.

Michael Dominguez, Managing Director of Providence Equity Partners glowed, "We are pleased to partner with one of the best managed companies in the videogame industry. ZeniMax Media has an outstanding series of proven interactive entertainment content and a burgeoning position in the rapidly growing global video game market. We look forward to working with Robert [Altman, CEO] to build value at ZeniMax Media over the long-term."

With all the band-wagoners jumping on the MMO train, it's nice to see a proven company and studio head get a serious infusion of investment capital. There's no doubt that the ZeniMax Online game is probably a long way from being shown off, let alone released, but we can't help but glow at the prospect of an Oblivion-style game going multiplayer.

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