ZeniMax acquires id Software

When I first heard that our beloved Doom and Quake developer was finally yielding to a company acquisition, it shocked me to hear that an independent company that was doing so well on its own was going to dwarf itself under a publisher. I mean, this is probably the second shocking acquisition gaming news of this year, with the first one being the acquisition of Eidos Interactive by Square-Enix. But, then, I continued to read on about the details of the acquisition, and after doing so, I think it might actually be a smart move from id Software.

According the John Carmack of id, they decided to be acquired by ZeniMax (and not EA or Activision) because the publisher is privately held, meaning they have more publishing resources without having the development pressure development subsidiaries normally have. The people at id surely do not want some big guy pestering them to finish their development within a year. Also, id thinks that they are more valued under ZeniMax because joining publishing giants like EA or Activision might undervalue their heritage as being merely another subsidiary. At ZeniMax, however, the only other big company is Bethesda, your beloved developers of Oblivion and Fallout 3.

Speaking of Bethesda, Carmack also believes that by joining ZeniMax, the Oblivion developers could potentially aid id Software with future projects, and id can do the same for them. And when you think about it, what could go wrong? We are talking about Bethesda here. And if talent like them can breath new life to old franchises like Fallout, imagine what they could do with Doom.

Lastly, Carmack believes that by joining ZeniMax, id can actually control the way their titles are published. This is very contrary to id’s previous publishing contracts with Activision, as well as the EA Partners program for RAGE. I am sure that Activision is sad that they no longer have rights to id IPs, while I’m sure EA was actually looking forward to publishing future titles beyond RAGE, but they, and we, have to accept that id Software will never want to undervalue themselves.

So there we have a wrap-up on the details of the acquisition. Do note that the upcoming Wolfenstein will still be published by Activision, while RAGE will be published by EA, but future projects such as the upcoming Doom 4 will be published under Bethesda Softworks. With that, I wish id Software only the best of luck in the acquisition and I hope that through this opportunity, their upcoming projects will truly shine.

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~ by Ian on June 27, 2009.

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