Who are you guys?
We're the best kept secret in the gaming industry… But, seriously, we're the online game development studio of ZeniMax Media, who also owns Bethesda Softworks. So think of us as the multiplayer-focused Bethesda Softworks.
Our President was one of the founders of Mythic Entertainment and was the producer of Dark Age of Camelot and lots of other titles there. Our team is made of many other people who worked at Mythic, as well as NCsoft, Firaxis, Sony Online, EA, and Bethesda Softworks. ZeniMax Online's staff had leadership roles on popular MMOGs like Dark Age of Camelot, Warhammer Online, Star Wars: Galaxies, Ultima Online, and The Sims Online.
Suffice it to say, we are very experienced and are looking forward to making the best MMOGs possible.
Where are you located?
We are in Hunt Valley, Maryland - one of the leading hubs of game development in the USA. We are located close to Firaxis, Big Huge Games, Day 1 Studios, and BreakAway. Mythic Entertainment and Bethesda Softworks are about an hour and a half away. Hunt Valley is just north of Baltimore, MD, in the Baltimore-Washington Metro area. We're far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the city to be peaceful and quiet, but close enough that we can live and/or go out in the cities and still make it to work on time.
The ZeniMax Online offices are within about an hour's drive from Washington, DC and all its museums; even closer to Baltimore, a great place to go out and have fun - not to mention Gettysburg Battlefield, southern Pennsylvania, Annapolis, horse racing, bike riding, and all kinds of other recreation. It's a great place to live and work; where you see all four seasons. You can drive a couple of hours east in the summer and go to the beach, or a couple of hours west in the winter to go skiing.
What's different about ZeniMax Online? Why would I want to work there?
Well, as we're under the same corporate umbrella as Bethesda Softworks, we have access to some of gaming's best known IP, as well as a well-funded stable publisher. We are focusing solely on MMOGs, and are staffing the studio with experts in online gaming.
What's really different about ZeniMax Online?
We have a clear focus and direction about what we're trying to achieve. We have a team that's dedicated to clear decision-making and implementing the proper strategy. This sounds like something any studio will say, but we're serious about it.
We're also serious about having a work environment that makes you want to come to work in the morning - one that makes you interested in what you're doing and with a minimum of strife and discord.
We run our studio using agile management techniques (specifically SCRUM) that encourage cross-team communication and cooperation - as well as daily meetings with your coworkers that allow everyone (not just managers) to spot problems as soon as they crop up.
Our project is fully funded from now until launch, which is a luxury unheard of in the gaming industry. With our corporate structure, we're very stable and can concentrate on making games instead of raising money.
How are you paying for this?
ZeniMax Media recently announced a $300 million investment from Providence Equity Partners, and of course the massive success of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Fallout 3 only adds to the assets that helped fund ZeniMax Online. Suffice it to say, we're covered.
Do you have a publisher?
Yes, Bethesda Softworks will distribute our titles worldwide via their offices in North America, Europe, and Japan.
How exactly are you related to Bethesda Softworks again?
ZeniMax Media owns both Bethesda Softworks as well as ZeniMax Online Studios. Bethesda makes AAA console-oriented titles, and ZeniMax Online (us!) makes MMOGs. Because we are all inside the same corporate structure, we share IP and because our offices are only about an hour apart, we can work closely with Bethesda's staff.
What's it like working at ZeniMax Online?
It's great to work on a project that has the chance to be a top-tier bestseller - and to do that with a group of other game developers that are fun to work with and dedicated to excellence. We have a great office space, very peaceful and open, almost-tame deer just outside our windows (yes, the content team has named them all, even the two fawns), and within easy walking distance to Hunt Valley Town Center just next door.
What do you look for in prospective employees?
First and foremost, an attitude that we know we can work with. We are very careful about staffing the team, and take pains to ensure that we hire those that we know we can work with. Of course we also expect excellence in any applicant's chosen field of expertise.