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.