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Bethesda Says id Software Layoffs Are Normal

By - Source: Joystiq | B 26 comments

id Software is laying off employees, but it's nothing out of the ordinary, claims Bethesda.

On Tuesday Ubisoft Toronto level artist Adam Bromell confirmed that id Software was currently laying off employees, and that perhaps more layoffs would come soon. The news arrives after the recent release of the studio's first new IP in decades, Rage, which initially suffered technical issues on both the PC and console platforms.

But parent company Bethesda Softworks swooped in and explained the situation before the rumor mill began churning too quickly, claiming that it's common practice. "As part of its standard business practice, id regularly evaluates staffing to ensure it has a workforce that meets the needs of the studio," Bethesda said in a statement. "As part of that process, some id employees were recently let go."

That said, all is well in the house of id, so don't fret. Even more, the studio is still recruiting and hiring qualified developers, and says that "development work on future id titles continues unabated." id Software is reportedly working on additional content for Rage while continuing to slowly bake Doom 4 in the oven, a process which has thus far taken four years.

It's apparently not uncommon for a studio to hire on a huge load of contractors to work on a specific game, and then terminate their contract after the title is released. IndustryGamers calls Rage "commercially unsuccessful," but many fans may disagree. The game actually pulled in slightly above-average scores, ranking an 82-percent average for the Xbox 360, an 81-percent for the PlayStation 3, and a 78-percent on the PC.

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  • 6 Hide
    beardguy , January 11, 2012 12:11 PM
    Hopefully they got rid of the incompetent workers who ultimately led to the failure of RAGE.

    It's obvious that more than a few people dropped the ball on this title.
  • 7 Hide
    rad666 , January 11, 2012 12:23 PM
    While on the surface, a metacritic average of 78-82 isn't all that bad, we all know that the way reviewers skew numbers "AAA" titles that anything below 90 is just bad.
  • 8 Hide
    rawful , January 11, 2012 12:24 PM
    Rage was just not that great of a game, technical issues aside. Just when it started to really get interesting, and seemed like the story was going to take off... the game ends. Such a disappointment. It just felt like an incomplete game.
  • -4 Hide
    RipperjackAU , January 11, 2012 12:29 PM
    beardguyHopefully they got rid of the incompetent workers who ultimately led to the failure of RAGE. It's obvious that more than a few people dropped the ball on this title.


    Yes, like John Cormack. He might have been on the founders behind DOOM, but he screwed the pooch big time on RAGE. He needs a reality check, and a pink slip might be the best way to drive that message home.
  • 1 Hide
    digitalzom-b , January 11, 2012 12:36 PM
    Yes, this is common practice...

    For games that fail.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , January 11, 2012 12:39 PM
    I am so worried about DOOM 4 !

    If you can't . . . just let it go!!!
  • 4 Hide
    zanny , January 11, 2012 12:46 PM
    RipperjackAUYes, like John Cormack. He might have been on the founders behind DOOM, but he screwed the pooch big time on RAGE. He needs a reality check, and a pink slip might be the best way to drive that message home.


    He has majority ownership of the studio. Good luck with that. He would probably just make another game studio if you could, anyway. And he is the engine designer, he doesn't write the story or make the art. The problem with Rage was that the creative design team and management behind it ignored blatantly bad story telling and plot throughout the games development and ignored the reality that the characters were flat.
  • 1 Hide
    de5_Roy , January 11, 2012 1:05 PM
    how well did rage sell exactly? did it sell bad enough to be called a failure? the figures in the last paragraph look like review scores to me.
  • 7 Hide
    Steveymoo , January 11, 2012 1:13 PM
    This is not called "being laid off," this is called "coming to the end of your contract."

    In the vfx and games industry, contractors are usually hired for 6, or 12 months, depending on the length of the project. This is totally normal, there's no point keeping hold of 50 staff members, when there's no work for them to do...
  • -2 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , January 11, 2012 2:04 PM
    I won't be getting Doom4 and that is because it's being designed for this generation of consoles instead of the next.
  • 4 Hide
    wicko , January 11, 2012 2:20 PM
    RipperjackAUYes, like John Cormack. He might have been on the founders behind DOOM, but he screwed the pooch big time on RAGE. He needs a reality check, and a pink slip might be the best way to drive that message home.


    Yeah Carmack really screwed up by introducing an excellent texturing feature that AMD and nVidia are looking to implement at the hardware level.. You have no idea what you're talking about, do you? Sounds like you are just butthurt because you bought Rage.
  • 2 Hide
    NuclearShadow , January 11, 2012 2:42 PM
    Rage was a over-hyped game. This doesn't mean that Rage was necessarily bad it just couldn't live up to the hype. This happens to many games and the performance issues it released with simply didn't do it any favors either.

    However when it comes to Carmack I use like him but he lost all respect for me. Right before the release of Rage he became a total ass. The last bit of respect for him died when he spoke against being innovative mostly aiming this towards Indie Dev's it sounds ridiculous that he would do such as he was once a great innovator himself. Then he goes on and defends games being generic and clones like Call Of Duty and all the games that now try to be like it. It is sad to say but the guy sold out.
  • 3 Hide
    tpi2007 , January 11, 2012 2:54 PM
    Rage is not a bad game, but it's not a great game either. Carmack recognized that they screwed up the release on the PC and promised a texture update / patch, and it has yet to arrive after all these months. If this isn't incompetence I don't know what is. That has probably something to do with the layoffs. The engine also needs perfecting as it still has texture pop-in problems.

    I'm running at a constant 60 fps on my GTX 480 at 1680x1050, everything maxed out with 4x AA and the game uses around half the VRAM. It should use the whole of it. As it is, it is too quick to unnecessarily remove textures from VRAM and then not quick enough to put them back. This is visible throughout the game if you move fast, and is especially noticeable in big outside areas.

    Also, as has been pointed out, the story is not very interesting, the characters don't have enough depth, some tasks are repetitive and the music (which loops in many cases, breaking immersion) is generally forgettable and tends to be used too much to create atmosphere (when they could have also created it with ambient sounds), and it is not very sucessful at it, which means that the game looks more like a failed tech demo more than anything else. I mean, static sky ? Crysis, which came out in 2007 has a dynamic sky, the only way to get a static sky in Crysis is to put eveything in Low. And even then, if you raise the shaders to medium you get the dynamic sky back.

    I mean, they advertise the game like this:

    Quote:
    Graphics that have to be seen to be believed – Powered by id’s cutting-edge new id Tech® 5 engine, new Megatexture technology brings the vast wasteland to life in never-before- possible detail with action running at an astounding 60 frames per second.


    Yet you still have, to this day, a static sky, low resolution textures and texture pop-in. I'm still waiting on the second promised patch. I have long finisehd the game, but hey, I want to see if the engine can deliver or not.
  • 2 Hide
    megamanx00 , January 11, 2012 3:04 PM
    Why is this even a story? Studios do it all the time. Once a game is done you go back to the drawing board for the next one. You don't need all those game testers and artists when you're in the planning stages of your next game. It takes a while to get a more permanent position, especially for testers.
  • 0 Hide
    NightLight , January 11, 2012 3:24 PM
    it all comes down to this: Carmack, get your sh*t together, focus on pc, and give us next gen graphics, not the blocky aliens you are doing now, and creepy evil gameplay like doom 1.
  • 2 Hide
    warezme , January 11, 2012 3:58 PM
    Why argue, compare Rage to Skyrim release. Rage 10GB plus of crap textures and bugs. Skyrim 5GB and immense world that just keeps giving.

    Skyrim = success
    Rage = failure
  • 2 Hide
    belardo , January 11, 2012 4:48 PM
    tpi2007Rage is not a bad game, but it's not a great game either. ~~~. I mean, static sky ? Crysis, which came out in 2007 has a dynamic sky, the only way to get a static sky in Crysis is to put eveything in Low. And even then, if you raise the shaders to medium you get the dynamic sky back. I mean, they advertise the game like this:Yet you still have, to this day, a static sky, low resolution textures and texture pop-in. I'm still waiting on the second promised patch. I have long finisehd the game, but hey, I want to see if the engine can deliver or not.
    static sky still?! His tech / designers have their concepts at ground level.
    One of the great things about Unreal was that the sky can move! Different layers of clouds even... At different speeds... All the way back since 1999! A cool ut99 map was battling on a floating platform moving throught the clouds at about 100 mph!
  • 0 Hide
    tuffjuff , January 11, 2012 5:02 PM
    beardguyHopefully they got rid of the incompetent workers who ultimately led to the failure of RAGE. It's obvious that more than a few people dropped the ball on this title.



    It was over-hyped, but I don't think it was bad. I will say my GTX460m in my M17xR3 couldn't play it properly without wire-frames showing in all NPCs, which caused me to stop playing it, but since I built my 448 core 560 Ti I've had no problems. It's fun, with tight controls, I just kind've wish I'd have waited to pick it up on sale. ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    tuffjuff , January 11, 2012 5:06 PM
    tpi2007Rage is not a bad game, but it's not a great game either. Carmack recognized that they screwed up the release on the PC and promised a texture update / patch, and it has yet to arrive after all these months. If this isn't incompetence I don't know what is. That has probably something to do with the layoffs. The engine also needs perfecting as it still has texture pop-in problems. I'm running at a constant 60 fps on my GTX 480 at 1680x1050, everything maxed out with 4x AA and the game uses around half the VRAM. It should use the whole of it. As it is, it is too quick to unnecessarily remove textures from VRAM and then not quick enough to put them back. This is visible throughout the game if you move fast, and is especially noticeable in big outside areas.Also, as has been pointed out, the story is not very interesting, the characters don't have enough depth, some tasks are repetitive and the music (which loops in many cases, breaking immersion) is generally forgettable and tends to be used too much to create atmosphere (when they could have also created it with ambient sounds), and it is not very sucessful at it, which means that the game looks more like a failed tech demo more than anything else. I mean, static sky ? Crysis, which came out in 2007 has a dynamic sky, the only way to get a static sky in Crysis is to put eveything in Low. And even then, if you raise the shaders to medium you get the dynamic sky back. I mean, they advertise the game like this:Yet you still have, to this day, a static sky, low resolution textures and texture pop-in. I'm still waiting on the second promised patch. I have long finisehd the game, but hey, I want to see if the engine can deliver or not.



    +1

    The textures look like complete butthole, it's really disgusting and the biggest problem I have with the game.
  • 0 Hide
    Travis Beane , January 11, 2012 5:55 PM
    I love to comment on the gameplay of RAGE, but as it happens, it doesn't work on my PC.
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