End of an era: John Carmack leaves id

Via IGN:

John Carmack, the programmer responsible for Doom, Quake, and more, has left id Software completely.

“John Carmack, who has become interested in focusing on things other than game development at id, has resigned from the studio," id's studio director Tim Willits told IGN. "John’s work on id Tech 5 and the technology for the current development work at id is complete, and his departure will not affect any current projects. We are fortunate to have a brilliant group of programmers at id who worked with John and will carry on id’s tradition of making great games with cutting-edge technology. As colleagues of John for many years, we wish him well.”

Carmack, a co-founder of id, recently joined Oculus as CTO, but remained at id Software in some capacity. "Happy to say [John Carmack] is not leaving id & will continue to provide leadership for our games in development," id publisher Bethesda stated at the time.

Oculus recently revealed it was close to solving the motion sickness problem with its Rift device, which will achieve 4K resolution sooner than expected. Earlier this year, id president Todd Hollenshead departed id as well.

Oculus was unavailable for comment.

If I recall correctly, he was the last guy still at id who was on the development team for Doom, right? Guess that means id really is now just "id in name only".

(Not sure if this belongs here or Doom General or what. Didn't want to be the one to submit a news article, though.)

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id's been in shambles for some time now. Still, shame to see founder to leave.

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Very sad news, actually...

I guess Doom 4 now definitely calls it a day.

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Shadow Hog said:

Guess that means id really is now just "id in name only".

Not really; Cloud and Willits are still there.

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I must note that this, for good or bad, should be properly mentioned in the News section. This is big.

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printz said:

Not really; Cloud and Willits are still there.


Neither of whom are founders. Willits didn't join until after Doom II, and Cloud didn't work on anything before Doom.

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Wow, anyone's actually surprised by this? I knew he left the moment he said he moved to Oculus. It was totally obvious.

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Farewell, you were a genius.

EDIT: I guess farewell isn't the right word because a lot of people are getting pissy, so here:

Good luck, you are a genius.

(good luck implying on his future endeavors such as the Oculus Rift, I'm sure he'll do just fine).

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Well this doesn't come as a surprise in any sense of the word. The moment he joined Occulus full time was the moment anyone should be able to predict this outcome. It was clear even at QuakeCon 2012 that this stuff was much more interesting to him than writing game engines.

I have the utmost respect for the man and his work has been legendary, but I don't really see this as a bad thing for id software. At least not in any practical sense. They may lose a "little" recognition value, but I'm sure they won't be harmed too much technically and especially not game mechanically. This may just be what they need.

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I suppose he ran out of co-founders to kick out.

Netherstorm said:

Farewell, you were a genius.


He's not dead yet.

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Whatever. The man is a tech genius, but he's not the great game developer that we have made him out to be.

In fact, he'd be OK simply making Quake games over and over if the market allowed it.

Gez said:

He's not dead yet.

Implying any of the id crew did anything great after they've been fired.

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Technician said:

Whatever. The man is a tech genius, but he's not the great game developer that we have made him out to be.

Amen. And even his tech knowledge doesn't really matter that much at this day and age when we have good tech-savvy programmers in droves. Whereas Carmack may have been irreplaceable in the 90's, he certainly isn't that in this decade.

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Eris Falling said:

Neither of whom are founders. Willits didn't join until after Doom II, and Cloud didn't work on anything before Doom.

Check your facts. Cloud worked on Wolfenstein 3D.

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Yeah the man became pretty insignificant after Quake 3. Even before Doom 3 hit the shelves, large studio engines were breaking ground without him.

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Jodwin said:

Amen. And even his tech knowledge doesn't really matter that much at this day and age when we have good tech-savvy programmers in droves. Whereas Carmack may have been irreplaceable in the 90's, he certainly isn't that in this decade.


Yeah. Sacrificing all sorts of dynamics in the world as well as textures that still make sense at 3 feet in order to fix a non-issue like tiling textures and nice-to-have's like 60fps tells me your focus is way off.

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Gez said:

He's not dead yet.

I know that, I was just giving my regards to him making Doom thus him being a 'genius'.

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I'm surprised he held in there as long as he did. id will be dead soon, I expect.

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I saw this coming when he signed up to be a part of Oculous Rift.

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Farewell from games development John Carmack, your brilliance will be missed.

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Carmack hasn't had a heavy role in the creative direction of id for quite some time, aside from the type of engines he was making having a direct influence on the types of games id made. It may be better for both id and Carmack, since a) that isn't really a good way to determine what type of game you're making, and b) Carmack is way more of a tech guy than a game designer, anyway.

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Caffeine Freak said:

Carmack is way more of a tech guy than a game designer, anyway.

Except making rockets. He fucking sucks at that.

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Id is pretty much nothing but a shell of itself now and isn't really worth paying attention to now. However I still acknowledge the "old Id" crew for their contributions to the FPS genre.

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printz said:

Cloud worked on Wolfenstein 3D.


I stand corrected, but this still doesn't make him a founding member. Though maybe you weren't really referring to them as founders in the first place.

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Mr. Chris said:

Id is pretty much nothing but a shell of itself now and isn't really worth paying attention to now. However I still acknowledge the "old Id" crew for their contributions to the FPS genre.

I pretty much agree with this assessment. None of the original founders of Id Software still work there now. Here's the Doom CREDITS screen: as far as I can tell, Kevin Cloud is the only member of Doom's development team who still works at Id. The company that created the games we love - Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake - no longer exists.

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Despite loving Quake, myself, I'd say the death of id was during the Quake era. id's last bastion of creativity once Tom was fired was Romero and he was canned shortly after for the sake of making more marine shooters.

And they would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for those kids over at Valve and Epic.

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