Officials from ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Elder Scrolls
developer Bethesda, have announced the founding of ZeniMax Online Studios, a new division focused on developing new massively multiplayer online games.
The company will be headed by MMO veteran Matt Firor, one of the founders of the now EA-owned Mythic Entertainment. Firor worked for Mythic for 10 years, serving as the producer for the company's popular MMO Dark Age of Camelot
, as well as taking a lead role on all of the studio's other projects.
Since leaving Mythic in 2006, Firor has worked as a consultant in the online gaming industry, advising publishers interested in entering the online market. Commenting on his decision to take charge of the new MMO studio, Firor remarked that “Even though consulting is fun, I really missed the chance to create games.”
“At heart I’m a game developer, not an industry businessman, and ZeniMax has given me the chance to make great online games in an evironment that I feel comfortable in. They are setting up a new studio (ZeniMax Online Studios) in Hunt Valley, Maryland, and are doing everything that is needed to be able to create quality MMOs,” he added in an interview
with Bethesda's unofficial blog site.
Finally, he also noted that he is handing the hiring for the studio, and that he is currently seeking “the core team members that will be leaders throughout our first project, and hopefully longer.”
The studio is expected to continue to take on staff over the next 18 months in order to establish “an entire MMO-sized team,” according to Firor. Specifics on planned subject and platform for ZeniMax's MMO have not yet been revealed.