Earlier today, ZeniMax Media Inc. made an announcement that took the gaming industry by surprise, revealing that it had completed its previously secret attempt to acquire development house id Software.
Known for its high-profile first-person shooters such as DooM, Quake, and Wolfenstein, the famed developer now joins ZeniMax's other game studio, Bethesda Softworks, the masterminds behind the Fallout and The Elder Scrolls RPG franchises. According to ZeniMax, id Software founder John Carmack will head the studio as Technical Director, and no drastic changes will be made in the company operations in regards to the development of its current games.
“This puts id Software in a wonderful position going forward,” said John Carmack. “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.”
Carmack offered additional information to Kotaku, saying that the company was growing weary of competing with publishers in regards to how the titles would be featured. Working with other companies has also been less than stellar, and id discovered that it had more IPs than it could actually handle independently, thus provoking the studio to become a publisher and merge with Bethesda and ZeniMax. "We can build the pipeline and have a regular pipeline of releases," he said in regards to handling all of id's IPs.
id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead also chimed in to the purchase. "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," he added, referring to ZeniMax's publishing support. With the parent company's financial backing, teams working on Quake Live, Rage, and even the next DooM title will now expand.
According to id and ZeniMax, the new merger has been in the works for months; Hollenshead actually approached Robert Altman, ZeniMax's founder, chairman, and CEO. Altman told Kotaku that the company was looking to acquire developers, and even secretly desired to acquire id Software long before Hollenshead surprised the company with an offer.
But with id Software now taking on the role of a publisher, what will become of the company's current titles? Carmack, Hollenshead, and Altman said that the purchase will not effect previously announced games including Wolfenstein (Activision) and Rage (Electronic Arts). Will there be collaboration between id and Bethesda? The group didn't say. However, it wouldn't be surprising to discover hidden Easter eggs related to id Software and Bethesda in future titles.