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E3: Carmack On Overcoming 'Outdated Prejudices' To Have EA Sign  RAGE
E3: Carmack On Overcoming 'Outdated Prejudices' To Have EA Sign RAGE Exclusive
July 15, 2008 | By Chris Remo, Staff

July 15, 2008 | By Chris Remo, Staff
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Talking to Gamasutra at E3, id's John Carmack has been explaining why he "carried around some outdated prejudices about [Electronic Arts], the big evil empire of gaming", but how signing RAGE with EA Partners is symptomatic of the publishing giant's "major intentional corporate cultural change".

Speaking after the Electronic Arts E3 press conference that revealed the id/EA partnership on RAGE, legendary coder Carmack talked, in association with EA Partners general manager David DeMartini, about the decision to go with EA.

Carmack explained notably: "Most people know that id doesn't sign long-term contracts. Really, every title we've had has been signed separately. We have a long history of Activision, and have had a lot of success over the years, but we've had a couple disappointments recently with our partner titles."

"RAGE is a brand new IP; it's a fresh start for us in a lot of ways. We did go around and broadly shop, looking really critically at all of our publishing options, and of course in the end it came down to like four publishers - you could probably pick which four. And of that, there's kind of a tier where you have Activision and EA at the top, and then a couple others below that."

The id Software co-founder noted: "Everybody made strong offers; all of them came to the table with a lot of money, good terms and all of this. In the end the decision really came down more to the secondary factors: how we thought the company viewed us in relation to their other projects, what the top executives would think about our products competing with other projects they might have internally, how they viewed our game and what they thought we might do for them."

Of course, switching across from traditional recent supporter Activision to Electronic Arts - even its more distribution-minded EA Partners label - might be seen as controversial. Carmack acknowledged this, commenting: "If you had asked me five years ago if we would be considering EA, I would have said, probably, 'No,' because I carried around some outdated prejudices about EA, the big evil empire of gaming that bought and crushed a lot of small [developers] and squashed a lot of creative stuff."

"But when it turned out we went in and checked on some of these things, we talked with the developers in the EA Partners program - we talked to Valve and some of the guys we know - at this point, they say universally positive things about how working with EA has been."

He continued: "I think there really has been a major intentional corporate cultural change there that came down from on high, that said, 'We're going to change the way things are done here.'

The people that are there right now are happy working with EA, and we looked over everything. It was a tough call, certainly. We made the call to go with EA, and we're happy with how things are looking right now, and it's certainly going to be another question that comes up when we start shopping Doom 4."

The full interview with Carmack, as well as David DeMartini and id's Tim Willits, will debut on Gamasutra in the near future.


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