ZeniMax Media Acquires id Software - UPDATED

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ZeniMax Media Acquires id Software - UPDATED

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Bethesda Softworks parent company ZeniMax Media dropped a bombshell today, announcing that it has acquired the legendary game studio id Software. (And John Romero is not very happy about it.)

Founded in 1991, id debuted with the popular Commander Keen series but it wasn't until a year later, with the release of Wolfenstein 3D, that the company began drawing serious attention to itself. In 1993, Doom exploded onto the scene, revolutionizing the industry and turning id into a cultural phenomenon. Quake, released three years later, would cement the studio's reputation as a leader in technological innovation.

"This was a unique opportunity to team with a smart, sophisticated publisher like Bethesda Softworks where the interests of the studio and the publisher will be fully aligned in the development and marketing of our titles," said id CEO Todd Hollenshead. "In addition, we will now have financial and business resources to support the future growth of id Software, a huge advantage which will result in more and even better games for our fans."

"This puts id Software in a wonderful position going forward," added John Carmack, who will remain in his role as Technical Director at id. "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. We will be bigger and stronger, as we recruit the best talent to help us build the landmark games of the future. As trite as it may be for me to say that I am extremely pleased and excited about this deal, I am."

The privately-held Zenimax is the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, the studio behind the Elder Scrolls series of games, Fallout 3 and the upcoming Brink. "Our intention is to make sure id Software will continue to do what they do best - make AAA games," said ZeniMax CEO Robert Altman. "Our role will be to provide publisher support through Bethesda Softworks and give id Software the resources it needs to grow and expand."

According to the press release, no operational changes will be made at id and all principal employees have signed long-term contracts to maintain their roles in the studio. id is currently working on Rage, a new FPS currently scheduled for release sometime in 2010.

I'll bet you didn't see that one coming, did you?

UPDATE: id co-founder John Romero, who earned fame as the designer of Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake before leaving the company to found the ill-fated studio Ion Storm, was less than enthusiastic about the sale of the company.

"ZENIMAX??????? Disgusting," he Twittered earlier today. "Fallout 3 bought DOOM. Wow."

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And the merges continue, EA just merged Bioware and Mythic!

I'm indifferent.

Though that pic up there can also be a good political cartoon on the matter.

Ranooth:
And the merges continue, EA just merged Bioware and Mythic!

Merge them?

Do you mean as in making Bioware just another part of EA or making Mythic a part of Bioware? I'm confused, and Bioware has been a part of EA for ages.

Please make Fallout:Wolfenstien, please...

Psychosocial:

Ranooth:
And the merges continue, EA just merged Bioware and Mythic!

Merge them?

Do you mean as in making Bioware just another part of EA or making Mythic a part of Bioware? I'm confused, and Bioware has been a part of EA for ages.

Kotaku:
EA is merging their two top roleplaying game developers, BioWare and Mythic, into one massive RPG group, with BioWare's co-founder Ray Muzyka taking the lead and Mythic's Mark Jacobs taking a powder.

It'll be interesting to see what happens with WAR and Mass Effect's future after number 2, a Mass Effect MMO?

And as huge Mythic fan it hurts to see Mark go.

It was just a matter of time before id got swallowed up by a bigger fish; their reputation and talent makes them an easy target for any company bent on making high quality games. However, I never expected ZeniMax to be the buyer. For a company so enthralled with RPG games, acquiring an FPS-specialist studio such as id would appear crazy. My guess is that they have a trick up their sleeves.

Doom is now going to get the magical, full on RPG treatment.

"I saw a Cacodemon the other day by the gates of hell."

"Disgusting creatures."

"I hope I never see another."

"Good day."

I can't wait for that extra level of detail that the Doom game world has been missing.

Maybe this will turn RAGE into more of a FPS/RPG like it was supposed to be anyway with the whole adventure/racing/exploration aspect.

Didn't see this one coming. The industry consolidation only continues with the economic times.

Well as long as Quakelive still runs the same, it's all good.

Anyone else afraid of the day when all games come from a single corporation, always producing the same bland games because that's all they can do?

Ranooth:

Psychosocial:

Ranooth:
And the merges continue, EA just merged Bioware and Mythic!

Merge them?

Do you mean as in making Bioware just another part of EA or making Mythic a part of Bioware? I'm confused, and Bioware has been a part of EA for ages.

Kotaku:
EA is merging their two top roleplaying game developers, BioWare and Mythic, into one massive RPG group, with BioWare's co-founder Ray Muzyka taking the lead and Mythic's Mark Jacobs taking a powder.

It'll be interesting to see what happens with WAR and Mass Effect's future after number 2, a Mass Effect MMO?

And as huge Mythic fan it hurts to see Mark go.

Mass Effect is set to be a trilogy, so perhaps after Mass Effect 3 we'll see an MMO, probably depends alot on how The Old Republic goes.

I feel a little sad since id has always been sort of a great beacon; a great, successful indie studio that was still going strong. They always made the games that they wanted to make and were so good at it that they could support themselves for years. Guess not so much anymore.

Wow... I had just made a topic about merging game developers and I had chosen id Software and Bioware, but this is close enough.
id was doing great as an indie developer, hopefully entering this territory will only improve them.

I hope id Software goes back to the top of the food chain in the coming years.

Sounds like the two developers are a good match.

NoMoreSanity:
Please make Fallout:Wolfenstien, please...

...and when they're done with that, I'd like a Heretic RPG, please

I'm not sure whether this will affect id since they're already good at what they do and will most likely get left to do their thing will Zeni makes a little extra cash since both id and Bethesda make good games and sell alot of them!

More Fun To Compute:
Doom is now going to get the magical, full on RPG treatment.

"I saw a Cacodemon the other day by the gates of hell."

"Disgusting creatures."

"I hope I never see another."

"Good day."

I can't wait for that extra level of detail that the Doom game world has been missing.

I just puked in my mouth a little. I hope those are killable characters, I'd be real angry to see them pissing about like that after a BFG blast.

EDIT: On topic, even though we know that id is good at doin' their thang, I hope this "forward looking research" or whatever doesn't end up watering down their games to make them more palettable for the mainstream. I really don't give a fuck if little jimmy never gets to play Rage or Doom 4 on the Wii. Hopefully though, they can prevent another Quake 4. I was pretty disappointed in that game, after beating it in only three days.

The Elder Command and Conquer 3D: DooMed Knights of the Old Fallout ft. MechaHitler: Sizzling Isles Expansion Pack

One day...One day...

300lb. Samoan:

EDIT: On topic, even though we know that id is good at doin' their thang, I hope this "forward looking research" or whatever doesn't end up watering down their games to make them more palettable for the mainstream.

Thing is, you can't water down Doom. It's the epitome of a turn-off-your-brains-and-shoot-them-all-up. Same goes for... well, just about all the other id IPs aside from maybe Commander Keen and Orcs & Elves. I don't think anything will happen to Doom. In fact, a new Doom is the kind of game that would do well next to Gears of War and the like.

Carmack loves to tinker around with tech but he hates complex gameplay as id's games prove.

countrysteaksauce:
The Elder Command and Conquer 3D: DooMed Knights of the Old Fallout ft. MechaHitler: Sizzling Isles Expansion Pack

One day...One day...

one day that game will be real and it will be the best game ever

Logan Frederick:
Didn't see this one coming. The industry consolidation only continues with the economic times.

Truth, and that is something I'm not happy with.

P.S. Tell Romero to come back and form an opinion when he's undone Daikatana. Oh yeah, I went there.

When times get tough, its good to see something like this happen. I'm optimistic that Zenimax will keep their hands off Id games for long enough that they get the gist of what makes Id good, and maybe even apply that formula to some of Bethesda's games.
(A Heretic rpg sounds good, especially Fallout 3 style. Mmmm, chicken...)
And Romero, who we havent even heard from in years thank GOD, can stick his hair in a metal ceiling fan. Id wouldn't even be around anymore if that twit stayed.

More Fun To Compute:
Doom is now going to get the magical, full on RPG treatment.

"I saw a Cacodemon the other day by the gates of hell."

"Disgusting creatures."

"I hope I never see another."

"Good day."

:D

Two awesome, and my personal favorite studios under one roof. Sounds exciting.

I wonder if this means that Bethesda will be looking towards IdTech for upcoming titles.

Wow, John Romero. It's been a long time since his opinion was worth anything ...

they should just make a huge gaming company so they can fire Sonic team...
I have been slamming on that blue cultural phenomenon for a while now, haven't I?

Maybe id Software can instruct Bethesda in making games with characters that don't look like mannequins and that ship with less than 100 bugs, perhaps even adhering to source material when acquiring franchises?

When I first read this (on a Bethesda wiki of all places) I didn't know what to think.

Then I remembered Doom 3 over on my shelf, and came to the conclusion that I really didn't care one way or another.

Okay, Romero has apparently changed his mind but since I already updated this story once to accommodate him, I'll just make a note here in the ol' comments.

Several hours after his initial reaction, Romero had some kinder words for the id/ZeniMax dead. "i am positive about the Zenimax deal. my initial reaction was harsh. sorry," he Twittered. "i guess i was shocked and sad to see the id Software of old changed forever today. it's a new day and a new id."

Here's to ZeniMax, a privately held company that doesn't have to kowtow to idiot shareholders who have no dog in the fight as far as actual games are concerned (I'm looking at you, EA) and care only about the bottom line. Try this for size: Wonder Woman is now the First Lady of id.

nilcypher:
Wow, John Romero. It's been a long time since his opinion was worth anything ...

Yes, on seeing that my thoughts were that John 'Daikatana' Romero was perhaps not the best judge of what a good RPG studio was.

Maybe now there's hope for more Commander Keen games. A boy can dream.

Note to ZeniMax: please continue developing Quake Live. Yes, also the Mac and Linux version. And yes, for free. Thanks.

I do recall Carmack saying he was leaving after id tech 5 was done, which basically means when Rage is done, and possibly Doom 4, so it's rather surprising that they've all signed long term contracts. I would imagine video game programming might get boring when you're working on putting a private rocket into space. I love id though, and Bethesda has made some great games, and neither of them seem like money grubbing whores. Bethesda may seem like a company that can't seem to get bugs worked out, but they still make good games. I can't see any real problems with this, id will get more funding, and won't have to outsource publishing, and Bethesda can come to Carmack when they need to program a computerized Jesus that's better than the original. I'd still really like to see them make an actual sequel to Quake, instead of the futuristic bullshit that was Quake 2, and the multiplayer/botfest deathmatch romp that was Quake 3.

They seem to be aiming at the FPS market, first Brink now and they're buying id.

I guess that makes sense, somehow. Bethesda obviously has no clue of how to make an FPS (as you can see from the really dodgy non-VATS fights in Fallout 3), and I guess id would be more than happy to have some RPG expertise at their side - who knows what you might need that for ;)

That, or Zedimax simply wants to be a bigger player ;)

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