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Cyb

Problems at id?

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting some drama at id Software (the article is here, but you need a subscription). Adrian Carmack has filed a suit claiming that he was fired earlier this year (which I don't recall hearing about, so the article is either inaccurate or this info was kept secret) when he refused a buyout offer of $20 million from his fellow id executives. The suit claims that Activision bid $90 million last year for the Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake franchises, and was considering a $105 million bid for the entire company. Carmack was forced out when he refused the buyout, claiming his share would have come to 41% (which is of course higher than $20 million for the $105 million bid).

Edit: To summarize, since the wording is confusing: Activision was going to offer id $105 million for the company. Of the five owners of id, only Adrian Carmack wanted to accept this. The other four owners offered to buyout Adrian Carmack's shares for $20 million, but he refused because 41% of $105 million is $43.05 million, not $20 million. Then he was fired from id, and now he has to sell his shares for $11 million.

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Considering that id over and over kept pride in being one of the few small gaming companies staying independant form the "big boys" (last time being this spring iirc) I find this scenario unlikely, but then you have to take into consideration that stranger thing have happened.

And back again, 105mill seem like a rather petty sum for a company like id.

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okay...one thing: HOLY CRAP.

First: They wanted to buy out quake, wolfenstein, and DOOM? This could mean that they would produce a quake V, a doom IV, and a wolfenstein re-return to castle wolfenidontgiveafuck. And they wanted to buy out Id completely. Quite surprising news.

Second: Adrian...fired? Wow.

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I seem to remember that carmack ( the insane, rocket scientist one) made comments about retirement after doom 3, that game engines rendering etc. no longer interested him.

If so then I can see a buyout by a big company.

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gargoylol, "Mr. Carmack" seems to be Adrian.

kristus said:
Considering that id over and over kept pride in being one of the few small gaming companies staying independant form the "big boys" (last time being this spring iirc) I find this scenario unlikely, but then you have to take into consideration that stranger thing have happened.

And pride has also tore chunks off it; Hall fired, Romero forced to quit, employees fired due to differences in how the company should be run, and lots of tension when each game was made (especially after DOOM, but even some back then.)

If Activision buys id, it's dead. From then on it will be a pretty standard media company. But if this is true, it's that it's dying.

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gargoylol said:

Using "Mr. Carmack" is kinda confusing here as there are two.


They only refer to John Carmack once in the article, and they use his first name there. All the rest is Adrian.

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I really don't care. Doom movies, doom game spin offs, doom mugs, jugs, plugs and lunchboxes... I'm over it. It's gone, wave bye bye, it was all downhill from here anyway. Id has three game franchises that they work like their bitches, and now they are farming them out to third party companies. Not just selling their engines, but selling their game concepts and their history.

Fuck that. They are out of ideas, everything since quake 2 has been a rehash over a previous concept. id has been uninspiring from a creative standpoint for a long, long time.

I can see activision buying them and turning the company into a sweatshop making engine after engine after engine for their own shitty franchises. Assuming john carmack stays. And in that scenario, they don't need no stinking artist...

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Jonesy89 said:

Here's to hoping id doesn't get bought out.


It won't. Only Adrian Carmack wanted to sell to Activision. This dispute is not between id and Activision, it's between Adrian Carmack and id.

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I'm not surprised this happened, I remember Adrian Carmack being the main obstacle in starting the Doom 3 project, and him firing one of Carmack's buddys in retaliation of being forced into Doom 3. Or at least that's what comes to mind for some reason, maybe I have it wrong.

Whatever happened to the new project? As I understood it, Willits and A. Carmack were the brains behind it.

And would Activision buying the rights to Doom include everything, including books and movies?

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Well, clogmuffins. To quote the Doom comic, "This can't be good!"

Uhmmm...Gee, as a relative iD newcomer, I can't think of much to say about this. I feel unimportant. :(

I will say that if iD goes one has to wonder who will go next. It's not like Bungie or Miyamotard are doing insanely brilliant jobs of convincing me that their lame sequels, whored franchises and INNOVATIVE YET CHEESY GAME MECHANICS are the way of the future.

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gatewatcher said:

I remember Adrian Carmack being the main obstacle in starting the Doom 3 project, and him firing one of Carmack's buddys in retaliation of being forced into Doom 3.

Correct.

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KwadDamyj said:

Well, clogmuffins. To quote the Doom comic, "This can't be good!"

Uhmmm...Gee, as a relative iD newcomer, I can't think of much to say about this. I feel unimportant. :(

I will say that if iD goes one has to wonder who will go next. It's not like Bungie or Miyamotard are doing insanely brilliant jobs of convincing me that their lame sequels, whored franchises and INNOVATIVE YET CHEESY GAME MECHANICS are the way of the future.


Again, it's not id wanting to be bought out, quite the opposit really. A. Carmack wanted to go through with it but the other guys didn't, so they canned him.

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They are all extremely rich anyway; I honestly don't give a damn about their squabbles. "Oh boo hoo, I'm only going to get 11 million dollars. That's only enough for a couple dozen Ferraris and a mansion."

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KwadDamyj said:

Miyamotard


That was the lamest bit of flamebait I've ever seen. He's responsible for some of the best, most well-designed console games ever made.

As for this news .. it's good that iD decided to ditch Adrian instead of selling out to Activision. But bad that they had to ditch Adrian. Why didn't he just change his mind? Maybe he really wanted to quit after all? :P

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kristus said:

And back again, 105mill seem like a rather petty sum for a company like id.

i agree with that

Adrian Carmack was trying to lead the company in a new direction and probabaly sick of making crappy, unoriginal game concepts wrapped up in a shiny new graphics engine. He has the right to influence a company he owns and built up with his own sweat blood and tears as much as carmack or anybody else. The result of others at id ignoring his wishes was the "game" doom3 - a hyper linear parody of everything FPSes shouldnt be, the excact inverse of what Doom - and id software games in general - should be all about.

in this context we should think about what happened.

What Adrian did (firing the other empoloyee, attempting to get Avtivision to take contol) was wrong, dictatorial and selfish, but you can understand his grievances and sympathize with his situation. At least I do. The carmack leader worship is also understandable, and theirs plenty of ego to go around on all sides (despite the impression you get reading one or another person's .plan files). I think people should be more sympathetic to Adrian, at least until we know more

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adrian basically tried to force some change, and was fired for it.

while i really, really enjoyed doom 3, i haven't had much faith in id software since... well, since quake 2.

i don't get it. they don't make innovative games anymore. in fact, the only "innovation" doom had was merely an expansion of what was possible in an engine (varying floor and ceiling heights, lighting, walls at any angle. the irony is, ultima underworld had most of that even before wolfenstein.) its story was an afterthought, it had very little in the way of interactivity, and really, in retrospect, none of the levels were all that great, except episode one.

id basically made a name for themselves because they opened the deathmatch floodgates.

here's something i noticed: id software makes games with deathmatch in mind, even going so far as to make a deathmatch-only game.

looking glass software, on the other hand, makes some of the finest and most innovative singleplayer games in existence and goes out of business.

epic decides to hop on the deathmatch bandwagon, turning their mediocre unreal into a multiplayer-centric game.

bullfrog software makes some very nice games. gets bought out by EA.

am i the only one who sees a pattern here?

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dethtoll said:

here's something i noticed: id software makes games with deathmatch in mind, even going so far as to make a deathmatch-only game.

looking glass software, on the other hand, makes some of the finest and most innovative singleplayer games in existence and goes out of business.

epic decides to hop on the deathmatch bandwagon, turning their mediocre unreal into a multiplayer-centric game.

bullfrog software makes some very nice games. gets bought out by EA.

am i the only one who sees a pattern here?


Yeah, and it seems (to me anyway) that more and more companies are going that route, to include PvP in RPGs and such to appeal to a wider fan base... While I have no illusions about human nature what happened to sitting down and getting lost in a story?
I can honsestly say that I lost myself in system shock 2 up until 'the many' levels which just seemed like a horrible 'press for time, get it out the door' bit... But still, maybe if more 'off the path' companies were to produce such games (and there are quite a few out there) we'd all just migrate away from the big 'omgDM!/WW2/guns,bombsandcoolshit!' formulas that seem to be dominating the gaming market...

I doubt it, but maybe.
(This comming from a guy whos novel is about 40% violence...) But theres still that aspect of discovery, theres struggle with a point, theres emotion and desire... Not just 'omgwtfbadguy'

*ahem*

[/soapbox]

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I think this could have possibly been a good thing. As much as id is good at making engines nowadays, Activision FPSes are a lot more fun. They really hit the nail on the head with the run and gun style of CoD and CoD:2 (for which the demo was just released), and I think they have a real talent for SP games. The way Call of Duty games are constructed, you basically get pumped up by the chatter and shouting of commands, etc., by your allies, which is something that could work for the Quake and Wolfenstein franchises.

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kristus said:

And back again, 105mill seem like a rather petty sum for a company like id.


EXTREMELY small.
Most hollywood movies grosse (=P) more than that...
ie. Doom movie..

I can't believe that article or the fact anyone in charge of the company would seriously consider the sum.

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Oh please god don't let it be!!!!


and by the way, Quake 2 may have been slightly similar to Doom in that it's about war with an alien (alien as in unknown) force, and story might not have played a major role in either game, but there were major differences. also, Quake 3 was absolutely NOT a rehash of any other game, in fact, the three existing Quake titles had nothing to do with each other. Agreed, that the reused name was to increase sales and profit, or maybe just because they couldnt think of a name for these storyless games?

They're supposedly working on a fresh new title, this may be the reason that Activision wants to buy them out. maybe Activision doesn't think id's next game will be very good...

I refuse to lose faith in id. Adrian Carmack has been a part of id for a long time, but if he was willing to sell the wholf damn company, then fuck him, and fuck his ass bloody till he bleeds to death from severe hemroidal illness.

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John fired his own brother?

And yeah, good thing they didn't sell the franchises to another company, so we could see unworthy sequels of them. I only want offical stuff.

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Wow, all this hate for someone who wants to sell a company he's worked so hard to help build. Isn't that the ultimate goal anyway?

It's certainly better than fading away, which is how I foresee Id's future. Kids will expect more and more from Id, and they'll keep getting relatively the same thing in a shinier wrapper. You're telling me that this is the formula for long-term success?

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