It looks like Oculus VR does all of its headhunting at id Software. id Software creative director Matt Hooper has joined Oculus VR, alongside id Software co-founder John Carmack at the company's new Dallas office. According to a statement from Oculus to GameFront, Hooper has been out of id Software for several months...
Update: We have edited the headline because John Carmack will continue to work at id Software, according to what Bethesda Softworks tells Eurogamer:
"John will spend time working out of Oculus as part of his role with them, but he will also continue to work at id."
Apparently he'll be splitting his time between the two companies. Double pay.
We are sorry if you were watching the live stream of id Software genius John Carmack from QuakeCon this week and hoping that he'd have nice things to say about Wii U and 3DS, because that didn't happen. Instead Carmack delivered some sad but predictable news on the possibility of id Software developing games for Nintendo's platforms.
Organizers of QuakeCon, the annual fan gathering dedicated to all things Quake and id Software related is set to take place this year August 1 - 4 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in the beautiful city of Dallas, Texas. Thanks to id Software and Bethesda Softworks (both owned by Zenimax, for the record) the event is free to all, though if you want a place to stay you'd better book a room early.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has released OpenArena, an "adults only" multiplayer first person shooter based on the Quake III engine. Available now for Raspberry Pi systems, the game runs on a modified version of the engine that powers Quake III - id tech 3, and the gameplay has been heavily modified to work on the system. The copyrighted material from Quake III has also been removed to make the game truly open sourced. Obviously there are still some outstanding bugs in the software.
id Software co-founder and chief mad scientist John Carmack revealed during the keynote address at QuakeCon yesterday that his studio had to cease developing mobile games to focus on Quake 4. Carmack said that it had to close its mobile game operation and shelf whatever iOS projects it was working on to focus on other important priorities:
"It saddened me a lot to because I loved doing the mobile work," he said. "It was fun, it was fun for the company, it makes money but it's not a grand slam sort of thing."
With QuakeCon kicking off on August 2, organizers decided that now is as good a time as any to detail some of the special things going on at the annual event dedicated to id Software's beloved first-person shooter franchise. With Zenimax now owning the studio responsible for Quake and Doom, you can expect to see some games in the works from Zenimax Online and Bethesda as well.
Before there was a game called "DOOM" or "QUAKE," id Software created a first-person shooter called "Wolfenstein 3D" that changed the PC gaming scene forever. Considered the great granddaddy of the first-person shooter genre, Wolfenstein 3D put id Software on the map and led to games like DOOM and Quake. These games pushed the boundaries of game development and eventually popularized the idea of 3D gaming.
To avoid some potential legal problems related to shadow rendering code Creative Labs apparently holds a patent to, id Software has decided to hold off on releasing the code. Rather than risking legal action, id Software co-founder John Carmack has decided to rewrite part of the Doom 3 engine's code. Yesterday it was revealed that id Software had delayed releasing the code to the public because of Bethesda's concerns of potential liability related to the Creative Labs patent.
Dueling reports on the future of Doom 4 make for an interesting morning. In one report from Kotaku, an "anonymous source" tells the publication that because Rage performed so poorly, id Software's next big title in the Doom series had been delayed. The anonymous source went on to say that Bethesda and its parent company Zenimax held a "company-wide meeting" in Dallas, where the decision was finally made. Finally, the source claimed that there was “a serious lack of confidence in the project management at id."
Speaking to Tom's Guide in a lengthy interview about everything from RAGE to the latest hardware, id Software co-founder and programming genius John Carmack offered an interesting answer on the new trend of company's starting their own digital distribution services. Carmack said that the work that Valve put into Steam was not easy, despite what some companies might think:
id Software reiterated at its annual QuakeCon event that still intends to release the Doom 3 source code after Rage has shipped. The company has been saying this for awhile, but fans were delighted to hear that the company is still thinking about it. During his QuakeCon keynote speech yesterday, id Software co-founder John Carmack announced that parent company ZeniMax had approved the source release, and that it will arrive some time after Rage's October launch.
Doom creator John Carmack says that violent video games reduce real-world aggression and that the ongoing debate about the affects of video games has been irrelevant for years because gaming has become a mainstream activity. The founding father of id Software and the driving force behind such hits as the Wolfenstein, Doom, and Quake series of first-person shooters claims that he never took the violence in video games debate seriously:
id Software revealed that its QuakeCon forums have been hacked and warned users that they may want to change their login information to avoid any hassles:
"In recent days, a hacker carried out an unlawful intrusion of the old forums.quakecon.org site, compromising usernames and passwords," the company said on the QuakeCon website.
"While we have taken appropriate steps to protect the new forums from attack, we recommend anyone using their old credentials on another site to change their passwords immediately."
"We regret any inconvenience this may have caused, and suggest you migrate to the new forums - which will be live shortly - to discuss QuakeCon 2011."
id Software's John Carmack predicts that mobile phones and portable devices such as tablets will one day overshadow consoles. For the time being, most mobile gaming experiences are diversions, says Carmack, but when games mature into deeper experiences on mobile platforms it could spell bad news for the traditional home console as we know it.
"That's one of the things that we do discuss internally a lot and it's amazing to think that when we started Rage, iOS didn't exist. There was no iPhone. All of that has happened just in the space of one project development timeline," Carmack told IndustryGamers in a recent interview. "And that's a little scary when you think about it, because major landscape change could be happening underneath our feet as we work on these large scale projects. And we're going to be doing everything we can to constrain our projects more to not take so long."
In addition to today being the 20th anniversary of Sega's Sonic series, June 23 marks the 15 year anniversary of Quake - a game that arguably changed the way games are made and the importance of 3D accelerated graphics. To celebrate, id Software owner Bethesda shared comments from id Software's John Carmack and Todd Hollenshead.
When asked to recall Quake, id Software president Todd Hollenshead offered this amusing anecdote: "One of my all time best game moments is still grabbing the rune at the end of the first episode and awakening the lava monster! I’m sure that level also inspired the USMC commercial with the Marine fighting the lava demon."
While the teams that create such hardcore game franchises as Battlefield and Darksiders may be embracing Nintendo's Wii U platform, id Software creative director Tim Willits has his doubts about the viability of such content on the platform. Speaking to Eurogamer at E3 this week, Willits said that he has a lot of doubts that there is an audience on the platform for the games his company makes. id Software is currently working on its post apocalyptic shooter Rage for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.
"The Nintendo market is a tough market for us to get into," said Willits. "A lot of first party games, a lot of licensed games – those are the ones that have done the best on that platform. I'd love it if we can get a hardcore FPS community going and build on it, but it's tough."
"I think we should keep our toes where we know best," he added.
Bethesda announced that registration for QuakeCon 2011 will open on May 26 at 5pm PT (8pm ET for those of us on the other side of the country). Players looking to take the trip to Texas for the annual event dedicated to all things Quake-related can register online for exhibit hall access, "Bring Your Own Computer" events, and for various premium packages.
QuakeCon 2011 will take place from August 7 - 11 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas.
More details will be revealed soon, according to Bethesda, but you can expect some reveals of games from Bethesda and its wholly-owned development studios - most notably, id Software.
You can register here at the appointed time and date.
Speaking to a packed house during the QuakeCon 2010 keynote address and the follow-up Q&A session, John Carmack said that he sees a real future with cloud-based gaming.
He also talked about 3D TV technology (he doesn't know if the value or usefulness is there for consumers) the current crop of motion controllers (he says "they're not of value to id") and dedicated servers (he has not decided how or if RAGE will support dedicated servers), but the most interesting comment has to do with cloud based gaming services, which he calls "interesting" - even though he hasn't tested any games that use it.
Here's an excerpt from a Shacknews article on Carmack's comments:
id Software and its relatively new parent company ZeniMedia have filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint in order to rid the Android Market of several non-id developed mobile games.
The ports in question were versions of Doom, Quake and Wolfenstein. 11 applications in all, including a Doom Soundboard, were targeted for removal. Android and Me has a clip of the fax sent by ZeniMedia to Google.
A developer of Doom for Android noted that Doom is open source, but outlined some of the mistakes he may have made in his release and is attempting to contact ZeniMedia to see if he can make any changes in order to get the app back on the marketplace. He stated:
Although the Doom source code, was open sourced, and the application was based on a port of the PrBoom engine, the application is still suspended. My mistake was allowing the download of the Plutonia and TNT WADs, at least that is what I suspect. Although I may not be able to distribute the application through the Market, the APK can still be downloaded and installed through the web.
This YouTube video shows off one of the versions of Doom for Android in action.
Reporter Mike Musgrove digs into the ESA's recent difficulties in today's Washington Post.
Musgrove brings an interesting perspective to the piece, given that he wrote one of the early profiles of embattled ESA CEO Michael Gallagher last September. In response to Musgrove's questions about losing Activision, Vivendi, LucasArts and id as member companies, Gallagher said:
There are hundreds of trade associations in Washington and virtually all feature member turnover and the ESA is no exception.
Increased membership fees due to the scaling back of E3 may be part of the problem, Musgrove reports, quoting Wedbush-Morgan analyst Michael Pachter:
These [publishers] got rid of E3 so they wouldn't be spending money, and they suddenly find they are spending the same amount of money, but without the spectacle of E3. I can't comment on whether the ESA is effective or not, but clearly several members decided that this is not the kind of reward they expect for that amount spent.
For the industry's largest players, those fees could be $4.5 million or more per year. id CEO Todd Hollenshead also cited membership fees:
Our departure from ESA is probably temporary and was not political. It was just a question of other priorities this year that we wanted to focus on... [The ESA] is a credit to the industry.
Hal Halpin, president of the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA), told Musgrove he knew of two other (unnamed) publishers that are planning to drop their ESA membership status:
Several [other publishers] are unhappy but remain with the organization... It's really concerning for all of us. Anyone who cares about the games business should be concerned about what's going on with the ESA.
Musgrove noted that Gallagher has maintained a relatively low profile since taking over the reigns, and that support was top-tier game publishers seems less effusive than it was in 2007:
[Gallagher's] been kind of quiet since that [September WaPo profile]... After a Fox News show featured an uninformed pundit going off about the allegedly sexually explicit nature of... Mass Effect, some gamers complained that the ESA did not step in to defend the game industry...
While top-ranking game industry executives were quick to get on the phone or respond to my e-mail queries about Gallagher last year, they weren't as chatty this year... Last year, Robbie Bach, head of Microsoft's game division, got on the phone to sing Gallagher's praises. This year, Microsoft sent me a statement: "We're as committed as ever to the ESA, and we look forward to participating in E3 this summer." Nintendo released a shorter, nine-word statement along the same lines.
For his part, Gallagher told Musgrove:
When it's necessary for the industry to have that loud, clear and public voice to defend itself from a baseless attack, I will be there.
Full Disclosure Dept: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics…
Is the Entertainment Software Association DOOMed?
It might seem that way, as yet another member company, id Software, has left the organization which represents the interests of US video game publishers. id's departure follows those of Activision, Vivendi and LucasArts in recent weeks.
GamePolitics has confirmed through a representative that id, best known for its first-person shooter franchises DOOM and Quake, is no longer a member.
The ESA did not respond to our inquiries, but might be expected to issue a late Friday afternoon press release as it did when it acknowledged LucasArts' recent exit. We also note that id no longer appears on the member section of the ESA website.
GP: At some point the continuing departure of member companies calls into question the ESA's ability to survive. The organization has gone from 28 to 24 members over the last few weeks and there are rumors of additional potential exits.
UPDATE: The ESA has confirmed id's departure. GamePolitics has received this statement from Sr. VP Rich Taylor:
We can confirm that id Software has decided not to renew its membership in the ESA. We admire their creativity and innovation. We also respect their decision.
The ESA continues to lead the thriving video and computer game industry. We are dedicated to protecting intellectual property, preserving First Amendment rights and fostering a beneficial environment for the entire entertainment software industry.