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id Tech 5  Rage  Engine No Longer Up For External Licensing
id Tech 5 Rage Engine No Longer Up For External Licensing
August 13, 2010 | By Kris Graft

August 13, 2010 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC, Programming

id Software has been known to license its internally-developed game engines to other companies, but studio CEO Todd Hollenshead said that id would not be licensing the new id Tech 5 engine to developers outside of parent ZeniMax Media.

"It's going to be used within ZeniMax, so we're not going to license it to external parties," Hollenshead told Eurogamer at this week's QuakeCon fan event in Dallas, TX.

Shortly after Tech 5's unveiling in 2007, id creative director and co-owner Kevin Cloud along with business director Steve Nix told Gamasutra that the company was "absolutely" ramping up licensing efforts for the multiplatform engine.

Over the years, a large amount of third-party developers have used previous id Tech engines, including Splash Damage, Gray Matter Interactive, Electronic Arts and Infinity Ward, to name a few. Nix told Gamasutra in 2007, "We've had a very successful technology licensing history going way back. I think the first Doom had some licensees even."

But id's acquisition by Bethesda Softworks parent ZeniMax Media changed the licensing strategy. Hollenshead's opinion now is that Tech 5 is a "competitive advantage and we want to keep it within games we publish -- not necessarily exclusively to id or id titles, but if you're going to make a game with id Tech 5 then it needs to be published by Bethesda, which I think is a fair thing."

Hollenshead's comments come during QuakeCon, where ZeniMax announced that it acquired France-based Arx Fatalis developer Arkane Studios, which also has offices in Texas.

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Andrew Grapsas
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Why does this make me feel like we can say goodbye to open sourced id engines?


Daniel Branicki
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Seems like they made something too awesome to just let others use it.

Benjamin M
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@Andrew I think you're absolutely right. No more open source access to ID's engines. Maybe they can release a version of the engine for non-commercial creation. This definitely goes against what Carmack stands for. : There's always Unreal Engine 3.

Gordon Jennings
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I suspect that they will make it open source once their next engine comes around.

Maurício Gomes
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Why does this make me feel like we can say goodbye to open sourced id engines?

Sadness. [2]

I am starting to hate bethesda more than I already hated for their buggy games, stupid releases (just visit the fallout 3 forums every time they release a expansion and you will get it), and use of Games For Windows Live

This article officially marked the end of id as it was known for... id is no more the indie spearhead that helped everyone licensing new tech and opensourcing old tech.

Jacob Johnson
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Nooooooo! It's always about the money.

Rob Schatz
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Never forget Ferengi 47th Rule of Acquisition: Don't trust a man wearing a better suit than your own.

Benjamin Quintero
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huh... this is disturbing. I always think it's funny to listen to people say, "this buyout is going to be a good thing." My prediction, key id staffers will break away and start up a new Texas-based studio when the culture turns into something monstrous.

I guess this leaves Epic as the lone soldier on the licensing front. I would not have seen this coming, ever.

DaFacts1on1 Jack
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Yeah I agree with Benjamin, ID is no longer the studio it once was, especially now. Fact is they haven't ship anything in years and they are no longer the dominant shooter studio. To be totally honest, outside of good art and tech, I do not see anything innovative coming from Rage in terms of game play.

Kostas Michalopoulos
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Lone soldier? Do you forget about Gamebryo, Jupiter Ex and maybe some others i don't remember right now (from big known developers at least - because otherwise a visit to 3DEngine DB will find you a swamp full of licensable engines).

Samuel Batista
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I think all of you guys can breathe easy, ID just announced they would release the source code for Return to Castle: Wolfenstein, and it's free multiplayer brother Enemy Territory. Carmack also mentioned that the source for Doom 3 will be released at some point (probably during their next Quake Con).

Id Software hasn't changed, at least from a consumer and fellow developers perspective (I'm sure on some level the workings of Id have changed, but their core values and strengths appear to remain intact).

So far I haven't seen a studio that Zenimax consumed and turned to rubble, Bethesda has continued to deliver fantastic products, and Id seems to continue that tradition. If they continue to let developers do what they do best (which includes letting crazy talented people like Carmack release the source code for their games), then I'm sure they will be a powerful publishing company that great development houses will want to work with.

John Belcher
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From John Romero's Twitter: id engine licensing started in summer 1991 with my idea, the "id Summer Seminar", and ended with Zenimax buying id.