According to legal documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal, Doom and Quake creator id Software is involved in a legal battle with co-founder Adrian Carmack, following his removal from the company. In addition, Carmack's lawsuit against id has revealed a number of behind-the-scenes facts, including information that current publisher Activision made a bid for id and its properties in 2004.
In the suit, Carmack (no relation to current technology head John Carmack) claims that Activision's 2004 offer was to acquire the Doom, Quake and Wolfenstein franchises, while offering only $15 million extra for the entire company. Unsurprisingly, the developer’s four founding members rejected the offer as being too low.
The law suit itself arose as Carmack claims he was fired as an employee and director after he refused to sell his shares back to the company, complaining that the sums being offered were a fraction of that which would have resulted from the Activision deal. As the owner of 41 percent of the company, he was offered only $11 million for his shares, compared to a potential (but still presumably low) $40 million from the Activision deal.
He claims he was later terminated from the company after he turned down a second offer of $20 million, and that the primary reason id Software turned down the offer from Activision was so that the other founders could acquire his shares at a lower price. Carmack further claims that towards the end of his time at the company his hours at work were tracked, he was refused access to board documents, and was denied normal payouts of profits in dividends.
Neither id Software nor Activision have yet officially commented on any aspect of allegations, likely because there is ongoing legal action that would prevent them from doing so. Nonetheless, the id-produced, Raven-developed Quake IV is believed to be unaffected, and will be published by Activision this holiday season for PC and Xbox 360.