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Hollenshead: id Tech 5 Will Not Be Licensed

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 19 comments

Developers and publishers wanting to get their hands on the new id Software engine will be denied.

Thursday at QuakeCon 2010, id Software co-owner and CEO Todd Hollenshead said that the company will not license out id Tech 5 to third party developers and publishers. This is a first for id Software, as it has licensed game engines without 3rd-party restrictions since the days of Doom (aka id Tech 1).

But things are different now. The infamous development studio is now part of the ZeniMax Media collective, joining the parent company's ranks last year. With that said, the latest id-developed game engine will be a ZeniMax/Bethesda exclusive, essentially making it unavailable to rival publishers and their associated developers.

"It's like, look, this is a competitive advantage and we want to keep it within games we publish - not necessarily exclusively to id or id titles, but if you're going to make a game with id Tech 5 then it needs to be published by Bethesda, which I think is a fair thing," he said in a recent interview.

Truth be told, only a handful of developers actually used an id Tech engine--Raven Software, Ritual Entertainment, Ion Storm, Valve Software, Gray Matter Interactive, Rogue Entertainment, Splash Damage and a few others. The list is miniscule when compared to Epic's Unreal Engine which comprises of an obscene number of developers, games and publishers.

"I think that [Epic] made a strategic choice to focus on the middleware service stuff, and we never pretended to be focused on technology licensing," he said. "It was that we made the technology for our games, and the philosophy was that with the one team the technology was wasted if you're just using it on one game, so we wanted to be able to license it out to a small number of developers."

"Epic's made a good business out of that so kudos to them, but I wouldn't change the way we've done things," he added.

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  • 0 Hide
    demonhorde665 , August 13, 2010 5:15 PM
    hmm are they tryign to hide something here ??? i wonder ,because doom 3's engine was heavily criticized for not handling exteriors well (ie frames dropped drastically in exteriors and they generally didnt look good in teh engine).

    hoenstly i think clossing out all chance of licensing this engine is a bone head move, as graphic power increased and dev times rise many more developers willstart lookign at licensing engines to cut back production cost and times, any one with a decent engine , will stand to make butt loads of money in the years to come,certainly more than what ID's mediocre FPSers will make alone.
  • 4 Hide
    icepick314 , August 13, 2010 5:17 PM
    but then again, do gamers actually CARE what game engine a particular game was made on?

    yeah it's exciting as far as technology is concerned but that's FAR down the list, at least for me, what kind of software was used...

    hell...I still have fun with L4D and L4D2 and those use Source engine that's 6 years old...
  • 5 Hide
    hellwig , August 13, 2010 5:36 PM
    Just corporate pressure from a company that doesn't understand how things work (ZeniMax). Look at Atari, Activision, Vivendi, EA, Microsoft, etc.. etc.. They see these smaller companies with great IP and buy them up, then they completely try to change the way those companies work and end up destroying the IP in the process.

    This happens in all forms of business. Some small company, doing their own thing, becomes moderately successful. A much larger company, wanting to expand that success, buys the smaller company out then tries to incorporate the smaller company into their business management philosophy. The smaller company is suffocated and eventually dies. The larger company writes off the loss and moves on.

    I guess from the iD Tech engine perspective, if it wasn't a money maker, don't bother supporting it. At the same time, how much did it cost iD to support these licenses? Seems to me if you already have the engine, it costs nothing to license it. Like icepick said, gamers don't care what engine the game uses as long as the game is fun. Is ZeniMax really that afraid that other companies might use Tech 5 to create superior games to Rage and Doom 4 that they would lose money in reduced game sales as a result? Seems pretty far fetched to me.
  • 1 Hide
    the_krasno , August 13, 2010 5:41 PM
    icepick314but then again, do gamers actually CARE what game engine a particular game was made on?yeah it's exciting as far as technology is concerned but that's FAR down the list, at least for me, what kind of software was used...hell...I still have fun with L4D and L4D2 and those use Source engine that's 6 years old...


    The Source engine is getting new upgrades with every game released, you should check out the commentary mode for their games, especially the Half Life 2 episodes.
  • 1 Hide
    Stryter , August 13, 2010 5:56 PM
    If i were a game developer looking for a game engine to build on, I would probably be disappointed by this, but as a gamer, not so much. It is id's tech that they have been developing for years. They can do with it what they want.

    Besides, as long as I get some more Quake and Doom, I'll be a happy gamer.
  • 0 Hide
    Fetal , August 13, 2010 5:58 PM
    Really nice. i like his approach.
  • 1 Hide
    iLLz , August 13, 2010 6:31 PM
    "No Id Tech 5 for you!"
  • 2 Hide
    dogofwars , August 13, 2010 7:12 PM
    Would be nice if Crytek would give license to their latest engine.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 13, 2010 8:16 PM
    BYE BYE Id Been nice knowing you! Just remember between big incomes from your own software those license fee's help keep the income stable and stock holders happy. So here's where we say. So long.. I ain't waiting to see the ship sink all the way. I see the torpedo I get going. BYE!
  • 3 Hide
    Wheat_Thins , August 13, 2010 8:35 PM
    Just stop flapping the mouth and get the new Elder Scrolls game rolling out.
  • 2 Hide
    nevertell , August 13, 2010 8:39 PM
    But will it be open sourced later when it will reach EOL, like all the other idTech engines ?
  • 1 Hide
    maestintaolius , August 13, 2010 9:06 PM
    Wheat_ThinsJust stop flapping the mouth and get the new Elder Scrolls game rolling out.

    Amen. (as long as they don't rush it and produce crap)
  • 1 Hide
    dEAne , August 14, 2010 2:31 AM
    game engine is also important too.
  • 0 Hide
    rohitbaran , August 14, 2010 2:58 AM
    The other developers could very well use Cryengine 3 which looks better than id's product. I mean the visuals are better and it is multi-platform like id's engine.
  • -3 Hide
    falchard , August 14, 2010 4:39 AM
    Unreal Engine as middleware kind of sucks today. Big in 2004, but they failed to make their engine better and got too greedy in pricing.

    Good move by ZeniMax. Pretty much everyone and their cousin wants to touch the engine tools for Id Tech 5. They also bought up most of the smaller developers who tend to use Id Tech.
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , August 14, 2010 6:04 PM
    I agree Crytek needs to teach ID a thing or two about game engines that function properly and 21st century level design that doesn't bore you to death. Doom 3 was a down right rip off and Quake Wars was just awful with its lame "mega textures" that were supposed to ooo and ahhh us... I hope this new game is good, but I'm not holding my breath. They need to seriously stop with their game engine techno babble-speak that tries to bamboozle and cover up a lurking turd of a game... Just release a good game for once, ok?




  • 0 Hide
    doped , August 15, 2010 5:11 AM
    Truth be told, only a handful of developers actually used an id Tech engine--Raven Software, Ritual Entertainment, Ion Storm, Valve Software, Gray Matter Interactive, Rogue Entertainment, Splash Damage and a few others. The list is miniscule

    WHAT? you forget infinity ward, and the cod series uses heavily modified id tech!

    im sorry kevin, your articles is really getting on my nerves lately. You make bold statements, but forget to list sources. if you can be a better journalist, be it. this is meant as positive criticism.

    and you've got valve's half-life series, also heavily modified id tech. games licensed from id tech(in the past) have become huge franchises, so calling them miniscule is ridiculous, especially when you compare it to epic's unreal. On the top of my head, i can't recall any licensed games from that being any good?!

    I do think i know what's gone wrong. You've only looked up id tech 4, and forgot it's past. Are you sure you should be writing gaming related journalism, when you forget such critical aspects?

    sorry for the rant, it's not on you personally, but on you journalism!

    (just remembered the medal of honor series too!!)
  • 2 Hide
    doped , August 15, 2010 5:15 AM
    iLLz"No Id Tech 5 for you!"

    hahaha, i see what you did there!
  • -1 Hide
    bluekoala , August 15, 2010 7:44 PM
    Mister MI agree Crytek needs to teach ID a thing or two about game engines that function properly and 21st century level design that doesn't bore you to death. Doom 3 was a down right rip off and Quake Wars was just awful with its lame "mega textures" that were supposed to ooo and ahhh us... I hope this new game is good, but I'm not holding my breath. They need to seriously stop with their game engine techno babble-speak that tries to bamboozle and cover up a lurking turd of a game... Just release a good game for once, ok?



    Hi and welcome to the technology enthusiast website tomshardware. Here; most people are technology enthusiasts. We especially like current and upcoming technology. If an engine comes with said new technology; we tend to get excited.

    I'm sorry you didn't like doom 3. I for one; really enjoyed it. It spooked the crap out of me because I played it in an environment consistent with the game's. Perhaps if you weren't listening to the spice girls while playing the game; you would have found it more immersive.

    I have taken the liberty of downrating you; not because I disagree with your taste in gaming, but because of the general obnoxiousness of your comment. Perhaps you should get more education on the subject: ID arguably invented the FPS genre. Perfected it time and time again, and to this day keeps contributing to the development of all games in general.

    You sir have been spoiled by the merits of many great game designers; please don't try to take away the merits of my beloved ID games.