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  (Source: id Software)

Doom 4, which a supposedly leaked screenshot of (dating back to 2005) is shown here, will likely be the first id Software title published by ZeniMax Media, the company's new owner. Zenimax also owns Bethesda.  (Source: Gamespot)
John Carmack remains at the helm of the venerable company

When you mention id Software to gamers, they get quiet in reverence -- or really noisy, reliving old favorites like Quake and Doom.  Founded in 1991, perhaps no other company has achieved such a high profile in the computer gaming industry.

Today it was announced that the parent company of Bethesda, ZeniMax Media has purchased id Software.  ZeniMax has published such recent hits as The Elder Scroll IV: Oblivion and Fallout 3

The purchase has the blessing of John Carmack, who plans to continue as head of id Software.  Mr. Carmack, who likely owned a large portion of the company recently rewrote Doom and Wolfenstein's engine for the iPhone, completing in four days a task which his coworkers said would take several engineers at least two months.

A press release about the purchase reads, "id Software will continue to operate as a studio under the direction of its founder, John Carmack.  No changes will be made in the operations of id Software in the development of its games. All the principals at id Software have signed long-term employment contracts, assuring they will continue in their the studio."

John Carmack praised the move, lauding, "As trite as it may be for me to say that I am extremely pleased and excited about this deal, I am.  This puts id Software in a wonderful position going forward. We will now be able to grow and extend all of our franchises under one roof, leveraging our capabilities across multiple teams while enabling forward looking research to be done in the service of all of them."

He adds, "We're really getting kind of tired competing with our own publishers in terms of how our titles will be featured.  And we've really gotten more IPs than we've been able to take advantage of. And working with other companies hasn't been working out as spectacularly as it could."

The team at id Software will likely make a lot of money for ZeniMax Media, as they have many upcoming almost-surefire hits.  The company will soon release its post-apocalyptic Rage title and also Doom 4, both for the PC.  EA Partners already got the rights to publish Rage, but ZeniMax will likely get to publish Doom 4.

Other than Bethesda, ZeniMax only held a few other companies -- casual developer Vir2L and ZeniMax Online being among the notables.  Zenimax Online is reportedly working on a Elder Scrolls MMO game.

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Carmack is a legend, but...
By Yawgm0th on 6/24/2009 3:55:47 PM , Rating: 4
Valve is the new id. Id hasn't made a compelling or innovative game for quite some time. Doom 3 and Quake 4 were mediocre and decent, respectively -- certainly not noteworthy. The Doom 3 engine, after all that fuss, was thoroughly underutilized, with only six games and one expansion, all but two being id titles. Its best implementation was Prey -- a game made by another company.

Compare that to Source. This engine has been kept modern over the last four years with periodic updates. Valve has used it/is going to use it in 14 different titles and it has been licensed for about 20 other titles -- nevermind the endless free mods to HL2 and other Source games.

Of course an engine is an engine, and what it comes down to it the game matters more. Id's recent releases have been average -- no, below average, while Valve keeps raising the bar. I hate to sound like such a fanboy, but I'm really losing faith in id's ability to compete with modern FPS offerings.

Carmack is a genius and I'd love to see id come up with something brilliant. But after Left 4 Dead and Portal, it's hard not to put much more faith in Valve.

RE: Carmack is a legend, but...
By Yawgm0th on 6/24/2009 3:59:25 PM , Rating: 1
Of course I should note that I do realize the irony in all of this, with Source being distantly based off of Quake's engine.

RE: Carmack is a legend, but...
By iFX on 6/24/09, Rating: 0
RE: Carmack is a legend, but...
By Yawgm0th on 6/24/2009 5:28:02 PM , Rating: 4
Is there some reason why a person should "pick sides" as you suggest?
Please indicate where I suggested that. Why the quotes? Who are you quoting? Not I. Is there some reason your reading comprehension is so poor?

I did say:
I hate to sound like such a fanboy

I have no vested interest in a "side" winning or losing, as you put it. I am simply commenting that id, once considered to be the paragon of FPS development firms, has lost much of its glory to the likes of Valve. I will buy and play whatever games are good. I just find it hard not to take the position that over the last few years id has accomplished relatively little while Valve is now an industry leader. I find it an interesting turn of events, not food for my alleged blowhard fanboy appetite.

The over dramatization of the gaming industry by blowhards such as yourself is tiring.
The over-dramatization of DT threads by trolls such as yourself is tiring.

Valve makes great engines and games. ID makes great engines and games.
I disagree. Valve makes great games and has made one good engine (one engine, period). Id hasn't made a competitive engine since Quake 3.

Your desire for there to be a winner and a loser is two dimensional and childish.
Your desire to put desires in my head is one-dimensional and infantile.

RE: Carmack is a legend, but...
By Regs on 6/25/2009 9:33:08 AM , Rating: 2
The article mentioned above states ID Software had a profound and influential impact in the gaming industry. What you are trying to imply by saying "Valve is the new ID", is that Valve had equally the same impact as ID did, correct?

About the article, one thing bugged me:
Mr. Carmack, who likely owned a large portion of the company recently rewrote Doom and Wolfenstein's engine for the iPhone, completing in four days a task which his coworkers said would take several engineers at least two months

This sounds like an exaggerated truth to glorify some one's boss. Carmack is a genius, and his portfolio of skills and smarts stretch far beyond just software if you kept track, but statements like these in news articles always make me cringe.

RE: Carmack is a legend, but...
By Yawgm0th on 6/25/2009 9:55:45 PM , Rating: 2
The article mentioned above states ID Software had a profound and influential impact in the gaming industry. What you are trying to imply by saying "Valve is the new ID", is that Valve had equally the same impact as ID did, correct?
I do agree with that statement, but I was not implying that. Id and Valve have both been very influential on the gaming industry in general and the FPS genre in particular. I don't think any fanboy on either side would dispute that (I don't mean any implication that you're a fanboy here. I have no idea if you are or aren't).

Id used to make games and engines that were the leaders in their field, and people expected that out of Id. Now Valve does this, and people should expect it from Valve. That's all I was saying.

RE: Carmack is a legend, but...
By ExarKun333 on 6/24/2009 4:40:21 PM , Rating: 1
I like the option to play without Steam running, so Id is the clear winner for me. Valve is not the "god company" you think it is, look at L4D2. They are no different than anyone else. They are much like Id in that their game engines are very good, but built to run on a range of machines, not just the top 5% like Crysis.

RE: Carmack is a legend, but...
By Yawgm0th on 6/24/2009 5:39:22 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think Valve is divine in any way. Being tied into Steam bothers me, even if it can be convenient. What they're pulling with L4D2 is a little lame, but frankly not that surprising. I should also point out the Doom 3 would not install out of the box with certain popular CD emulation software on the PC. That is a much worse practice that what some Steam games pull, IMO.

In any case, I'm talking not about business practices or being nice to the consumer. I'm talking about making successful games and engines. Valve is at the top of its game right now. I don't see how id can be a "clear winner" for anyone, with the last good id game being Quake 3. Doom 3 and Quake 4 were flops and the id Tech 4 engine has not been successful. It's just not the compelling stuff I expect out of Carmack and Id Software.

By inperfectdarkness on 6/26/2009 3:35:12 PM , Rating: 2
i respect valve, but i'm an epic/monolith fan. the serious engine would be my darkhorse favorite. all of these are superior to offerings from ID, imho.

i became convinced of ID's fading glory around the UT99 vs. Q3Arena days.

UT will always hold the spot closest to my heart--mainly due to Epic's never-ending push for user-created content. UTRPG FTMFW.

RE: Carmack is a legend, but...
By someguy123 on 6/24/2009 4:58:13 PM , Rating: 3
oh god i hope not. during their introduction of the source engine I'd agree, valve was taking a step in the right direction. lately, however, valves titles have become essentially paid betas. usually they fix a lot of the bugs and lack of content with patches, but in my opinion the games shouldn't have been released in the first place until they were completed. their game release methodology is starting to match EA, which is a terrible, terrible thing to be compared to.

i agree that ID's games have been subpar, though. their engine itself is great and I'm not sure why it didn't get much use, but their games have just been lackluster. hopefully this changes with their upcoming rage title.

RE: Carmack is a legend, but...
By Yawgm0th on 6/24/2009 5:33:45 PM , Rating: 1
However, valves titles have become essentially paid betas.
I don't know if I agree with that. I bought HL2, EP1, and Orange Box the week each came out and played through each one (EP2 and Portal for Orange Box) the day they came out. I don't really call any serious bugs (hardly any at all), and I play L4D pretty regularly without any problems.

I have found bugs in Steam titles, but not so much Valve-developed games.

Not that it is a defense, but in any case the industry trend of selling us public betas or RCs branded as full games is just that -- an industry trend. Admittedly I didn't buy L4D until this year, so perhaps Valve did pull this. I sure hope they stay away from this practice, as it is killing the PC gaming industry.

RE: Carmack is a legend, but...
By someguy123 on 6/24/2009 9:39:39 PM , Rating: 2
well HL2 was with the initial source release, and a single player game (as well as ep1) and the studios most known title so they keep the problems, if any, to a minimum. I don't have any issues with their single player games, but they haven't released a new single player game in quite some time.

L4D on launch was basically a beta. it was still decently playable, but there was barely any content and a limited number of modes. there was also an issue where if you bound your melee attack to mousewheel you'd be able to swing at 1000mph and kill everything near you instantly, and also an issue where if you jumped on a zombies head they'd die instantly (not sure if this was fixed).

TF2 has also suffered this problem. recently they have done an incredible amount of work to increase content and balance the game, which is commendable, but the initial release was very limited, much like their initial release of counter strike source which had i believe 4 maps total and only 1 model skin on each team.

RE: Carmack is a legend, but...
By superPC on 6/24/2009 8:13:44 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, games these days are more like movie (this in part i think is thanks to Valve and the first Half Life). It's less and less about how you make it and more about what you can do in it. I admit that Carmack is a genius and he (with ID) makes great game engine, but game now days is about more than just engine, it's about experience. And I'm sad to say that it's been a while since ID really makes a great experience (while other developer keep perfecting their game).

RE: Carmack is a legend, but...
By Locrian on 6/24/2009 11:54:52 PM , Rating: 1
Personally I thought HL2 was boring. In terms of animation, atmosphere, active "cutscenes", and an overall movie-like feel, it was great. But in terms of gameplay and story it was nothing new. The big annoyance for me was that it led you along on tracks, just like most any other FPS. Not modern at all. Very old school actually. The barrel dropping chopper scene actually reminded me of 2D shoot 'em up games.

These days I expect a game to give me more freedom and allow me to explore a world and figure things out, even if it classifies itself as a FPS. When I feel like I'm being led through a game I get bored and antsy.

Gunning down horde after horde of baddies also gets boring quickly. HL2 wasn't too bad in that regard since it mixed things up frequently. Infinity Ward's Call of Duty 2 on the other hand... *hangs self*

I'm hoping Rage will be a little more open, slower paced, and interesting but I'm not holding my breath. I guess from my view the whole FPS genre is dead and over with, along with all the companies who made it big with them. Maybe being under the Zenimax umbrella with all of Bethsoft's open world games and Zenimax Online's MMO will rub off on ID and they'll develop a shooter that is interesting and not mind numbingly boring. When was the last one of those? Deus Ex?

By Cheesew1z69 on 6/24/2009 2:36:00 PM , Rating: 5
At least Carmack is still running it

RE: Wow....
By kattanna on 6/24/2009 3:28:41 PM , Rating: 2
for now. im sure that will change when there are "creative differences"

anyways it will give him more time to build his moon ship

RE: Wow....
By someguy123 on 6/24/2009 4:16:02 PM , Rating: 2
carmack doesn't design his games, he just codes/thinks up new things for his engines.

no one would ever drop carmack. he is literally more valuable than office building full of programmers.

RE: Wow....
By inighthawki on 6/24/2009 4:27:54 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, I'm not a huge fan of id's games but Carmack is one of the leading innovators in terms of engine design.

RE: Wow....
By superPC on 6/24/2009 8:20:58 PM , Rating: 2
I still don't get how he manages to do something in 4 days that takes an entire software engineering team 2 month. If there are 200 people like him, maybe we can get our game in 2 month instead of 2 years.

RE: Wow....
By Jedi2155 on 6/24/2009 10:22:29 PM , Rating: 2
That's why we have terms for these people as "game gods & legends."

Although not all of them deserve it but certainly the initial bunch of game developers in the 90's were a pioneering bunch with a far more limited computing power and much smaller audience. It was far more difficult to develop a hit game than it is now, so those who are still in the business definitely has tremendous skill and a ginormous understanding of the capabilities/limitations AND the ability to work around such things to create such immersive worlds.

RE: Wow....
By poundsmack on 6/24/2009 4:09:55 PM , Rating: 4
"Kotaku has a little more info on the deal, revealing that id had actually approached ZeniMax Media about being bought out and that acquistion talks had started months ago. With the deal now complete id will be able to add teams to their game projects. It also quotes id founder John Camack as saying, "We're really getting kind of tired competing with our own publishers in terms of how our titles will be featured." The new deal with ZeniMax will solve that problem with Carmack saying, "They are triple A, top-of-the-line in what they do in the RPGs. And they have no overlap with all the things we do in the FPSes."

Oh yeah
By Ammohunt on 6/24/2009 3:07:00 PM , Rating: 1
Zenimax Online is reportedly working on a Elder Scrolls MMO game.

God i hope this is true.

RE: Oh yeah
By Gul Westfale on 6/24/2009 3:15:47 PM , Rating: 2
same here.

RE: Oh yeah
By darklight0tr on 6/24/2009 4:32:51 PM , Rating: 5
God I hope not. I think too much talent and resources are wasted on MMOs already, trying to be the next cash cow. They have their place in PC gaming, but there are just too many now. I keep thinking we've reached market saturation for MMOs and then another batch is announced.

I can't tell you the number of times I look at previews of a game and thought "that looks cool" then saw that that it was a "Persistent Online World" game. Meh.

RE: Oh yeah
By Ammohunt on 6/24/2009 5:02:39 PM , Rating: 2
There are people such as myself that are Game Genre players. I persoanlly have played over a dozen different MMO's from Earth and Beyond, Everquest to Motor City online. There is always room for improvement for MMO's the trnd now is to make them so retartedly simple to play ala WoW that the excitement and challenge has rendering game play pointless. Heres hoping this game is tough like the single player games.

RE: Oh yeah
By xRyanCat on 6/24/2009 5:25:28 PM , Rating: 2
But do we really want a good company like Bethesda, to make an MMO and just sit back and watch the money role in? (I'm looking at you Blizzard.) If Blizzard didn't have the WoW franchise we would already have Diablo IV and Starcraft 3.

Sure there's always room for improvement in any gaming genre, but I would hate to see Bethesda go the way of Blizzard.

RE: Oh yeah
By Parhel on 6/24/2009 6:19:04 PM , Rating: 2
The Elder Scrolls is one of the few quality single player RPG series still in development. In my opinion, going MMO would ruin it completely. None of what makes the series unique would carry over if they went MMO.

Id engine
By Moohbear on 6/24/2009 3:22:13 PM , Rating: 2
I hope Bethesda will drop the craptastic Gamembryo for an Id engine now they have the same owner.

RE: Id engine
By Gul Westfale on 6/24/2009 3:37:03 PM , Rating: 2
but then the character models in the next elder scrolls game will look as plasticky as the ones in id games.

RE: Id engine
By noirsoft on 6/24/2009 3:38:14 PM , Rating: 2
Craptastic? On what grounds?

Okay, I did work for EGT, but I use Gamebryo all the time as a user, and I find it to be preferable to any other game engine I've worked with. Care to elaborate on your strong opinion?

RE: Id engine
By Moohbear on 6/24/2009 4:14:28 PM , Rating: 2
I find the Gamebryo engine to be inefficient compared to the level of details it displays. Oblivion was a notorious hog and not that pretty compared to contemporary games using other engines (bad optimization). Fallout3 is not drop dead gorgeous either, even if the art helps a lot. The Doom3 engine probably wasn't suited for Oblivion, but the coming Rage engine looks like a ggod candidate. I don't know why they choose the Gamembryo though, so maybe speed/quality wasn't their main concern. I would also point out that few games use this engine, especially FPS/ThirdPS and several good looking and decently fast RPG used the Unreal3 engine (Mass Effect).

RE: Id engine
By poundsmack on 6/24/2009 4:27:30 PM , Rating: 2
Bethesda chose not to make the graphics mind blowing so as to allow computers configured with less than stellar graphics cards to run the games. If you want to see Gamebryo at it's best check out the upcomming game Brink. As for the engine that powered Doom 3 bring used for an RPG, it wouldn't really work. Id's Tech engine version 4 was never intended for that. However Tech 5 is. Check out the feature section here:

Gamebryo is one of the most advanced cross platform game engines and development environments out there, its really rather amazing.

RE: Id engine
By ClownPuncher on 6/24/2009 5:50:55 PM , Rating: 2
I think Oblivion broke the standard for graphics when it came out. It was far more than "not that pretty", unless of course you mean the console ports. Undoubtably impressive when it was released.

Also, as an amateur modder, I think Gamebryo is great to work with.

RE: Id engine
By noirsoft on 6/25/2009 2:02:05 AM , Rating: 2
You can't really blame Gamebryo because of Bethesda's art. Shaders are shaders and it's largely up to the game developer to implement and optimize the shaders for their particular game. Oblivion was based on an unfinished version of Gamebryo 2.2, and much of the engine was re-written for 2.5 to be much more efficient in terms of memory usage.

This is why Gamebryo is really "Middleware" and not a "Game Engine" -- It is much more flexible than something like Unreal (oh, and well-designed and with good support. No one has sued EGT yet) but is not completely optimized for one type of game. That's why it's been used for RTS type games (Civ 4, Pirates), MMO (Dark Age of Camelot, Warhammer Online, Lego) RPG, and a large variety of other genres.

It's not true that it has been used in "few games" -- 250+ shipped titles on some version of Gamebryo. Sorry to sound like a marketing droid, but you are blaming Gamebryo for issues that are Bethesda's responsibility.

id's Tech engine to power Bethesda games?
By poundsmack on 6/24/2009 3:45:56 PM , Rating: 2
This gives Bethesda access to id's Tech engine instead of licencing Gamebryo's engine. It would save the company TONS of money in licencing fees, though as a developer it would make me sad to see a switch of off Gamebryo entirely as it is a fantastic engine. All in all, i think this is a good move on both parts.

By DXRick on 6/24/2009 4:06:21 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. For once, I can see "synergies" being a positive thing!

By tastyratz on 6/24/2009 4:25:02 PM , Rating: 2
Does this mean that ID software games will become more buggy by osmosis from Bethesda?

RE: bugs
By Akrovah on 6/24/2009 6:12:34 PM , Rating: 2
No kidding. I've never played a Bethesda game that didn't have random crashes for no explicable reason.

By Cobra Commander on 6/24/2009 4:26:41 PM , Rating: 2
Does id have just ONE art director employed? Every damn game looks the same. Boring.

By kyleb2112 on 6/24/2009 8:31:53 PM , Rating: 2
Go watch the Rage trailer. I looks more like Mad Max meets Fallout 3 than a Doom game.

By VoodooChicken on 6/24/2009 2:49:43 PM , Rating: 2
Only one can escape the Vault!

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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