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ZENIMAX MEDIA RECEIVES $150 MILLION INVESTMENT FROM PROVIDENCE EQUITY PARTNERS

Posted in Gaming, News with tags , , , , , on October 14, 2010 by phonicamagazineuk

 

Current investment supplements $300 Million Capital Raise in 2007

ZeniMax Media Inc. has announced the closing of a $150 million investment by Providence Equity Partners, a leading private equity firm, in convertible preferred stock of the Company. The proceeds will be used to fund additional growth through increased game development, expanded publishing operations, and strategic acquisitions. The new investment by Providence supplements an earlier investment of $300 Million made by the firm in October 2007.

ZeniMax Media was founded in 1999 by Robert A. Altman, its Chairman and CEO, and through its wholly owned subsidiary, Bethesda Softworks, publishes original interactive entertainment content for gaming consoles (including the Xbox 360TM video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PLAYSTATION 3 computer entertainment system, the PC, handheld/wireless devices, and online gaming).

Among the studios that develop games for ZeniMax are its subsidiaries Bethesda Game Studios (which developed the 2008 Game of the Year, Fallout 3, and the 2006 Game of the Year, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion), id Software (which invented the first person shooter genre and created such classic games as DOOM, the 2004 Game of the Year, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and Quake, as well as its upcoming, highly anticipated release, RAGETM), and Arkane Studios (which created Arx Fatalis and helped develop Bioshock 2).

“Though a number of prominent private equity firms offered to invest with us on attractive terms, we chose Providence as they have proved to be an ideal partner for us over the past 3 years as we built our business. We believed that furthering that relationship was the right course for us. Providence shares our strategic vision for the Company and is excited by the opportunity to help us strengthen a position of leadership in this industry,” said Mr. Altman.

“We are pleased to increase our investment and support the continuing growth of what we consider to be the best managed company in the videogame industry,” said Michael Dominguez, a Managing Director of Providence. “Since our original investment in 2007, ZeniMax Media has tripled the size of its development portfolio and assembled an extraordinary library of major game franchises, along with some of the best development talent in the world. Its valuable proprietary technology and focus on high quality development are driving growth. We look forward to working with Robert to continue building ZeniMax Media over the long-term as an innovator and leader in the global video game market.”

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Oi, shouldn’t you be dead?

Posted in Games, Gaming, Technology with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2010 by phonicamagazineuk

 

Why is a perfectly aimed headshot not always followed by death?

Here’s a little question to get your brain a’ grinding. What happens when you get shot in the head? The long answer is that there’s a bloody fireworks display that coats the room in claret and traumatizes nearby children. The basic and far shorter answer, is that you die. In real life this is not only a rule, but an unavoidable law of the universe that we are all bound by. But in the land of video games, the laws are not so strict, and the repercussions even less so.

The other day I was playing the joyous Uncharted: Drakes Fortune (yes I know I’m late to the party, but I brought wine). It’s a cracking adventure that thrills and excites in boundless ways, but there is one little problem that bugs the hell out of me. When baddies take a well aimed bullet to the head, they often survive. Even on the easy setting (I said I brought wine, what’s the problem?) the bullet-begging bad guys can often take a shot to the face, and then seconds later start firing again. It maybe just me, but this drives me mental.

You’ve just fired a piece of metal the size of a baby carrot, at nearly the speed of sound, into a human’s (not an alien, mutant or Terminator’s) face, but they haven’t died, and you’re left screaming “You cannot be serious, the bullet was on the spine, blood flew up!”

There are numerous other games when this crime against gaming humanity happens. Rogue Warrior (terrible game anyway), Just Cause, Gears of War (those Locust were tough though), Fallout 3 (again, those Super Mutants were tough), Far Cry, Kane and Lynch, even the exceptional Half-Life 2 has this problem.

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Fallen Earth – a breakaway from traditional MMOs

Posted in Games, Gaming with tags , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2009 by phonicamagazineuk

 

Fallen earth 6-10-09_screenshots_007There are a lot of fantasy based MMOs on the market right now, but developers Fallen Earth have made the first real step out of this trend and produced an MMO based in a post-apocalyptic future – with guns and explosives the main course of the day. Will this game result in more and more sci-fi based MMOs like DUST 514?

Age of Conan, Warhammer Online, Final Fantasy XI, World of Warcraft, Guild Wars – all these MMOs share one feature; they are all based in a fantasy world of swords and spells. So it was inevitable that a developer somewhere would think to themselves, after watching something like Star Wars (coincidentally there is an Old Republic MMO coming out soon), why all the fantasy? And tada, Fallen Earth.

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