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id Software Purchased by ZeniMax Media Inc.

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.

  • vorless
    This is BIG.
    Reply
  • zerapio
    For some reason this saddens me. I looked at id as a stron and independent developer.
    Reply
  • Thunderfox
    Didn't Romero want them to go into publishing a few years back?
    Reply
  • falchard
    Zenimax used to be an independant company as well. So its not too bad. They seem to be trying to position themselves as a closed company publisher.
    Reply
  • jsloan
    oh no! wtf, John how could you sell your soul to the man.
    Reply
  • Regulas
    Ah id brings back memories, playing Doom I on a 386 machine and Doom II on my Pentium I at 60 Mhz. Always loved id games and bought all of them, Doom 3 scarring the crap out me late at night.
    Two of the best in one company and if John Carmack says it is a good thing, I believe him. id has long been a PC game supporter and Open GL to include Linux. Oblivion and Fallout 3, while it does contain DRM, it is not draconian. Actually if you buy the retail expansion pack for Fallout 3 you do not need a disk in your drive anymore to play. I have to admit Fallout 3 is my favourite game of all time.
    id and Bethesda are gamer friendly unlike the hacks at EA or Ubisoft (Farcry 2) with their draconian type DRM limited install and online activation, I do not buy their crap because of it! Then there is Bioware who has done a 180 since being Microsoft's bitch with Mass Effect and I am looking forward to Dragon Age, disk check only.
    Reply
  • Regulas
    Yes I know Bioware is part of EA and EA is learning (Bioshock and Spore fiasco) not to treat legitimate gamers like criminals.
    Reply
  • NuclearShadow
    It saddens me to see all these independent developers being bought out one by one. A developer that is independent works as hard as it possibly can to make a game that can compete because they can't afford to do otherwise. While the opposite side of the fence will rush games and even release them incomplete.

    I am left worrying that the quality of id games will fall.
    Reply
  • apache_lives
    BUY THE DUKE NUKEM RIGHTS AND SERIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Reply
  • vorless
    NuclearShadowIt saddens me to see all these independent developers being bought out one by one. A developer that is independent works as hard as it possibly can to make a game that can compete because they can't afford to do otherwise. While the opposite side of the fence will rush games and even release them incomplete. I am left worrying that the quality of id games will fall.
    Have you played any games from Zenimax? They are all good games. If anything this will help id.
    Reply