Bethesda Softworks LLC is an American video game publisher based in Rockville, Maryland. The company was founded by Christopher Weaver in 1986 as a division of Media Technology Limited, and in 1999 became a subsidiary of ZeniMax Media. In its first fifteen years, it was a video game developer and self-published its titles. In 2001, Bethesda spun off its own in-house development team into Bethesda Game Studios, and Bethesda Softworks retained only its publishing function. As such, Bethesda Softworks acts as the publisher for all games developed by ZeniMax's development studios. In 2020, Microsoft announced that it is acquiring the holding company ZeniMax Media for US$7.5 billion.