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How Id And Bethesda Will Work Together

John Carmack speaks about how development processes will change now that the makers of Doom and Fallout are living under the same corporate roof.

Kotaku's Stephen Totilo flexed his journalistic muscle this morning with a first-out-of-the-gate interview with id Software's John Carmack and Todd Hollenshead about their company's just-announced acquisition by ZeniMax, the company that also owns Bethesda.

Immediately after the news hit, we started seeing speculation all over the place about how the two development studios will work together. And for good reason. With id leveraging its immense technological advantage and Bethesda bringing its open-world role-playing chops to the table, far-flung ideas like the next Fallout or Elder Scrolls game running on id's super-impressive-looking id tech 5--which already powers Rage--don't seem so terribly outlandish. Though they do seem terribly awesome.

Imagine a Fallout game with visuals like these. Enticing. 

Anyway, Totilo rightfully addressed the topic of what kind of beautiful music Bethesda and id might make together in his story.

And will there be any Bethesda-id crossover coming out of this? "The teams are very much separate," Carmack said. "There is a lot of mutual respect there. There's going to be a lot of communication and cross-pollination. I doubt there's going to be any technology shifts between the two companies, but there's certainly going to be cooperation. And I wouldn't be shocked to see some hints of different things crossing over in different ways. That's just the kind of stuff when you have lots of people who think everybody is working on cool stuff together."

Sounds like nobody's rushing into anything, though who knows what the future holds? These are two respected developers with what I feel are pretty different strengths, so any way they can collaborate together seems like a win-win for the consumer. Hollenshead feels the same way about the ZeniMax ownership; he had this to say about how the deal will affect the day-to-day business at id.

"Things aren't really going to be different in terms of what's going on at id," Hollenshead said. "We're not going to change the kinds of games we make…. It allows us to accelerate the growth of our internal studios, so we can focus on making all of our internal games as opposed to working with external partners where there has been a step down in quality… There will be more, better games from id. So if you're a fan of the company, then it is all upside and all things to look forward to." 

That quote about "external partners" and a "step down in quality" seems like a pointed dig at studios like Splash Damage and Raven, which have respectively done Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, and both Quake 4 and the upcoming Wolfenstein under the id banner. But the guy seems to have a point. I'll be really curious to see how Doom 4 turns out, since it will probably be the first major id title to be developed almost entirely under the auspices of ZeniMax. Wolf and Rage will be published by Activision and EA, respectively, per existing agreements.

Id may not be the 800-pound gorilla it was in the mid-'90s, but this news still blew my mind this morning. Those guys have always had such a reputation of fierce independence, part of me thought they would never sell out, never submit to any degree of control by an outside party. I guess no company stays the same forever, though if all the details of this acquisition are as much on the up-and-up as they're purported to be, I'm hopeful id will at least remain a company that makes some pretty sweet games.

How does this news strike you? What was the first id game you played? Mine was the boxed shareware version of Doom, the original, which I bought in a Babbage's for maybe $5 and which went on to completely and utterly blow my young mind before quite literally changing my life in a nontrivial way. So I've always had and always will have a certain place in my heart for id.

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Posted by Brad

Kotaku's Stephen Totilo flexed his journalistic muscle this morning with a first-out-of-the-gate interview with id Software's John Carmack and Todd Hollenshead about their company's just-announced acquisition by ZeniMax, the company that also owns Bethesda.

Immediately after the news hit, we started seeing speculation all over the place about how the two development studios will work together. And for good reason. With id leveraging its immense technological advantage and Bethesda bringing its open-world role-playing chops to the table, far-flung ideas like the next Fallout or Elder Scrolls game running on id's super-impressive-looking id tech 5--which already powers Rage--don't seem so terribly outlandish. Though they do seem terribly awesome.

Imagine a Fallout game with visuals like these. Enticing. 

Anyway, Totilo rightfully addressed the topic of what kind of beautiful music Bethesda and id might make together in his story.

And will there be any Bethesda-id crossover coming out of this? "The teams are very much separate," Carmack said. "There is a lot of mutual respect there. There's going to be a lot of communication and cross-pollination. I doubt there's going to be any technology shifts between the two companies, but there's certainly going to be cooperation. And I wouldn't be shocked to see some hints of different things crossing over in different ways. That's just the kind of stuff when you have lots of people who think everybody is working on cool stuff together."

Sounds like nobody's rushing into anything, though who knows what the future holds? These are two respected developers with what I feel are pretty different strengths, so any way they can collaborate together seems like a win-win for the consumer. Hollenshead feels the same way about the ZeniMax ownership; he had this to say about how the deal will affect the day-to-day business at id.

"Things aren't really going to be different in terms of what's going on at id," Hollenshead said. "We're not going to change the kinds of games we make…. It allows us to accelerate the growth of our internal studios, so we can focus on making all of our internal games as opposed to working with external partners where there has been a step down in quality… There will be more, better games from id. So if you're a fan of the company, then it is all upside and all things to look forward to." 

That quote about "external partners" and a "step down in quality" seems like a pointed dig at studios like Splash Damage and Raven, which have respectively done Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, and both Quake 4 and the upcoming Wolfenstein under the id banner. But the guy seems to have a point. I'll be really curious to see how Doom 4 turns out, since it will probably be the first major id title to be developed almost entirely under the auspices of ZeniMax. Wolf and Rage will be published by Activision and EA, respectively, per existing agreements.

Id may not be the 800-pound gorilla it was in the mid-'90s, but this news still blew my mind this morning. Those guys have always had such a reputation of fierce independence, part of me thought they would never sell out, never submit to any degree of control by an outside party. I guess no company stays the same forever, though if all the details of this acquisition are as much on the up-and-up as they're purported to be, I'm hopeful id will at least remain a company that makes some pretty sweet games.

How does this news strike you? What was the first id game you played? Mine was the boxed shareware version of Doom, the original, which I bought in a Babbage's for maybe $5 and which went on to completely and utterly blow my young mind before quite literally changing my life in a nontrivial way. So I've always had and always will have a certain place in my heart for id.

Staff
Posted by pornstorestiffi

A Fallout game running on id tech 5, would be very interesting. I hope this deal works out in the favor of us gamers.

Edited by Al3xand3r

Quake Wars was ace, just too hardcore for most, thus it didn't sell. The PC version at least I can vouch for, I've heard bad things about the ports.

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

My first id game was the original Doom when I was a young teenager.  It was mind-blowing at the time, and I respect the hell out of id for sucking up so much of my youth trying to play through their games.

Moderator
Posted by SmugDarkLoser

ID has sort of gone from an awesome developer into a mediocre one really.  Same has happened to 3D realms, although they're still pretty good, they just don't put out many games.

Rage though should bring ID back to the top tier.

Posted by GreatFunStuff

Id games have no art style. "Take this dude, make his right arm really big and put a fire-face in his chest. Now put guns on his shoulders, and his arms... and his faces. Wait... turn his top face upside-down. Okay, now slap those tire-feet on him, add the flames, and we'll be all set." (see: aspects of most every Doom 3 or Quake character)

Edited by Media_Master

never played an id game

Posted by OmnomnomPancake

So Bethesda can borrow some id animators?

Posted by TheHBK

My first id game was Wolfenstein 3d which I played on my cousin's new PC.  I could not believe you could play a game from a first person view.  But I still think that id could benefit from this because yeah, they can tout being independent but this aquisition will hopefully stop this whole, it will be out when its done shit, because other developers can push out games on a schedule and actually have them be really good.  What was the last supremely good id title?  the last one the blew me away was Wolfenstein Enemy Territory, and that shit was free.

Posted by Luke

Fallout 4 is gunna be amazing! :p

Posted by KillerFly

When I was 5, my mom bought me Doom for the Sega Genesis 32X.  I was pretty addicted to that game as a kid.  

Posted by Nick

Commander Keen was my first id game, in fact it was my first video game ever.

Posted by Milkman

I doubt we'll see much collaborating between id and Bethesda. Just because they are owned by the same company doesn't mean they're going to start making games together. However, that would be totally sweet.

Posted by sociald1077

My first id game was Wolfenstien 3d. Then I quickly found out about Doom and picked up the shareware for that.

Ah the memories :D

Then I found Heretic and after seeing what Raven did with the Doom engin, I was hooked into the whole id/Raven partnership.

Posted by Seedofpower

 Lets just cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Posted by MeatSim

Bringing these two together sparks a great amount of potential for one hell of a game.

Posted by SmugDarkLoser
@Luke said:
"Fallout 4 is gunna be amazing! :p"
Fallout 4 is being made by Obsidian, not Bethesda.
Obsidian is essentially ex-Black Isle guys, so sort of funny how that happened.
Posted by twhalen

I was initially disappointed with this news, for no good reason, just because id has always been just id and I've liked it that way. But this means that we will be getting more id games, so I'm not going to complain.
Sentiments aside, this is awesome news.

The first id game I played and the first game I ever played was the original Quake, back when I was five years old. That and its two mission packs pretty much sum up my early childhood.

Posted by DannyJ

If they made a Wolfenstein game after the next one... does this mean it could actually have a legitimate story?!

Edited by MrKlorox
Wow! This IS indeed quite amazing news! I was just playing through Oblivion again and was thinking about how awesome it would be once all open world games use megatexturing like Id's Tech 5 engine. Two mornings later and I am greeted with this news. I thought there had to be something more to Brink than meets the eye, if you'll pardon the pun.

On one hand I feel weird about Id no longer staying an independent game company, but on the other, I realize the times are rough and it is a valid way to stay afloat. Also, the acquiring company is what really dictates the sourness/sweetness of these deals. While I do believe there are better companies to get id, they certainly could have done MUCH MUCH worse than Bethesda. That's the same thing I said about the Fallout license acquisition a few years ago. Really, as long as they remain a living Texas videogame company, who gives a fuck who owns them?

My first id game was Wolfenstein 3D and my dad let one of his employees show it to me one night at their offices back I think before I had played the SNES. A few years later, I had "my own" computer by the and my mom's ex-boss's son who was babysitting me at the time brought over Doom and a bunch of anime mods for Doom II, hoping they would work. (This guy was classic. It was the time when the death of superman comic hit the stores and I remember he was bitching about how in American comics they always bring back "killed-off" heroes, some way... "unlike in anime where once you die, you stay dead" then goes on to give DBZ as an example -- it was early in the series in Japan so Goku hadn't been resurrected yet) I still wasn't into the gameplay or very impressed with the graphics. Then a few months later came the Quake shareware... it was then that you could not pull me away from FPS.

I just hope they release some kinda tech-5 sdk for modders who want to make a total conversion.


@SmugDarkLoser:
  If you even get to call that game "Fallout 4" -- which you really can't. My money's on a GTA-style naming convention. There will be a few more stand alone games before Fallout 4 comes about... and it will probably be developed by Bethesda. Also, none of the ex-Black Isle guys working at Obsidian worked on the original Fallout team and only one of them worked on Fallout 2 (Chris Avellone). At least it is a stronger Fallout track record than what Bethesda started off with.
Posted by xxNBxx

I guess Id working with EA and Activision should have been more of a sign that Id was thinking of selling.  For me this sounds like it can only help the games from Bethesda and Id.  Doom 4 is said to be an open world game, who better to help them then the best team in the biz today at open world games?  I also feel this could help with the first person shooting in Bethesda's games. 

Finally,  my first Id game i ever played was Wolfenstein 3D.  I will never forget the first time I fought the first boss and got freaked out by hearing "I'm coming for you"

Posted by zityz

id rather take an elder scrolls 5 with the id tech 5 engine. Well to be honest Id take a Elder Scrolls 5 with the crytek engine, but that wont ever happen.

Posted by FlipperDesert

If they can help make a Bethesda game that doesn't fuck-up technically so much, I'll be happy.

The first game I ever played was Doom II on my dad's work computer, I had absolutely no idea what was going on or what I was doing, but it's one of my earliest and fondest memories.

Posted by Nasar7
@zityz said:
" id rather take an elder scrolls 5 with the id tech 5 engine. Well to be honest Id take a Elder Scrolls 5 with the crytek engine, but that wont ever happen. "
Oh man, that just got me salivating.
Posted by InsanePotato

My first was Wolf 3d, so many hours dedicated to that. Followed by doom shareware, immediately followed by Doom. What a great time to be alive. I'm so surprised as well these guys finally sold out to another company, they've been the shining beacon of a successful programming house doing it by themselves for so very long now. Just hope this doesn't crush them pandering to inevitable corporate bs.

Edited by MrKlorox
@zityz: Yuck. The Cryengine 2 wouldn't be able to handle it. It's for medium-large sized open world levels... not gigantic open world worlds. Then again, they're coming out with the third iteration of this engine soon... perhaps it is capable of delivering an actual open-world experience instead of the pseudo open-world it had before.
Posted by Ket87

First id game I ever played was Doom but what really set id apart in my eyes was the original Quake. It was the evolutionary successor of Doom and is still far and away my favorite PC game ever.

Posted by Jimbo_N

Carmack responded exacly like I thought he would. He is a great man and the willingness to abandon his old philosophies about running id for the greater good of economics and the games makes me all warm inside.

Posted by graf1k

I'm guessing there probably isn't going to be much tech crossover in the near future. My guess is with Obsidian working on Fallout New Vegas, Bethesda is probably already working on the next Elder Scrolls game so by now it might be too late for them to change over to the id Tech 5. Then again, who knows? ESIV running on that engine would be epic.

Posted by BaconGames

Maybe we can finally see the sequel to the original Quake given the pedigree of both studios to pull some weird gothic sci-fi shooter.

Posted by RHCPfan24
@SmugDarkLoser said:
" @Luke said:
"Fallout 4 is gunna be amazing! :p"
Fallout 4 is being made by Obsidian, not Bethesda. Obsidian is essentially ex-Black Isle guys, so sort of funny how that happened. "
Fallout 4 =/= Fallout: New Vegas

They have already said that Fallout: New Vegas will be an extension of the Fallout 3 gametype, not a revolution. I am sure they will use the title Fallout 4 for the next, real step in the franchise.

Nonetheless, the first id game I played was Doom and I was very impressed. I played it about 10 years ago if my memory serves me right. And, yes, I was scared back then. Still, I still support id and whatever they do so this partnership should be beneficial to both parties.
Posted by JJOR64

They are going to make Doom 4 and make it like Fallout 3.  That would be fucking epic.

Posted by Crono

OMG Maybe now Bethesda will release an RPG that has characters that can emote while they speak to you!  The possibilities are now endless.

Posted by PureRok

Meh. I've never liked id's games.

Posted by Reverseface

Maybe with the rage engine the next elder scrolls game will make THE FUR ON MY WOLF PELT BOOTS LOOK MORE REAL !

Posted by Food

My awesome uncle let me play Doom on his computer when I was 5 and I've been a fan ever since.

Posted by Delta_Ass
@Media_Master said:
" never played an id game "
You are an awful gamer.
Posted by Stephen_Von_Cloud

id should help Bethesda make the next Fallout game also play well as a normal shooter.

Posted by oasisbeyond

ID was once a great company but they don't care about art, and story, therefor their game s = decent at best.
Bethesa isn't perfect, they have terrible animators, I mean I see better animations in ps1 games then Oblivion and Fallout 3 so called next gen games.

Maybe together they will learn from eachother and take what's good from both companies. I beleive every company needs one guy or lead tester that seats down with all the testers and asks them what do you think the problem with this game is? and whats good? Very few companies do this, but in the end the end product would be so much better if every company did this. I was once a Tester and wasn't affraid to right up D bugs and say "Change this cuz it's awfull and everyone will complain.

Anyways I hope good things come from this news if not... These companies will die out eventually, nothing lasts forever.

Posted by kyrieee

What? I can hardly believe this!

Posted by Damian

It's inevitable that there will only be big sharks left in this pool. But I'm hoping it's more of a 10-shark pool than the 3-shark variety.

Posted by Rasgueado

Crazy... I would never have expected this to happen either. 

Edited by SmugDarkLoser
@oasisbeyond said:
"ID was once a great company but they don't care about art, and story, therefor their game s = decent at
Indeed.  Exactly it.
This is why they use to be good, but not now.  Because it was perfectly acceptable before. 

Rage will change this I believe, as I say again.

ID needs to take a note from Bungie and develop a universe and like them, tell the story subtly in game!  It develops the universe and will give tons of details for those who care.
Posted by sdauz

i wonder how long rage has been in development....sounds a lot like fallout if u ask me?

Posted by dirtyfootprints
@Al3xand3r said:
" Quake Wars was ace, just too hardcore for most, thus it didn't sell. The PC version at least I can vouch for, I've heard bad things about the ports. "
do you happen to be a jake and amir fan?
Posted by rateoforange

My first real PC came bundled with one of the Commander Keens and the shareware of Wolfenstein. I played them both to death, but I was too young to realize that you could even buy the 'full version' of Wolfenstein.

Posted by Claude

I played the Doom 3 demo. That's it.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

Not a fan of Id. They make technically impressive games for sure, but Doom 3 was boring, and I assume the same about quake 4.

Posted by smokeH

sweeet,, this could lead to some interesting game releases.

Posted by AndrewB

It's not like Bethesda can't make their own kickass new engine. The Oblivion engine was a benchmark in graphics, for its time. Fallout 3, while running on the same engine, manages to look even more amazing. If you have the computer for it, try playing with some high-res texture packs installed.

But still, building an engine takes a whole lot of work and time. If they can piggyback on what looks to be an already great engine, why not do that so we can all be enjoying said games sooner.

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