id: PC 'Worth Supporting' But 'More of A Junior Partner'

By Aaron Linde, Aug 11, 2008 10:42am PDT Steadily decreasing PC software figures have prompted acclaimed Doom and Quake creator id Software to focus more on consoles than PCs for the future, id president John Carmack has revealed.

"It's hard to second guess exactly what the reasons are. You can say piracy. You can say user migration," Carmack told Tom's Games at this year's QuakeCon. "But the ground truth is just that the sales numbers on the PC are not what they used to be and are not what they are on the consoles."

The statement follows remarks made by id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead at last year's Game Developer's Conference, where he claimed that that "piracy has pushed id as being multiplatform" at last year's Game Developers Conference.

"We still think the PC is a market worth supporting, but we're not making decisions around the PC," Carmack added. "It's probably more of the junior partner in the cross-platform strategy, although obviously, our day-to-day development is predominately on the PC."

As for future titles, Carmack further noted that the company's post-apocalyptic shooter Rage (PC, PS3, 360) and Doom follow-up would definitely appear on the platform.

"We certainly expect Rage and the Doom project on the PC," Carmack stated. "We're contractually obligated to have Rage on the PC, and I would be stunned if we did not do Doom 4 for the PC. It would just be wrong. Even if it was a marginal business case, we would still do it because it's the right thing to do."

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35 Threads | 203 Comments

  • I don't know if I agree with this. I mean, as of late, id's games just offer zero replayability. That's what keeps bringing people back to games like Starcraft and Diablo II, no? Those games are ten years old and still selling and both of them are still installed on my computer.

    I cannot remember the last time I played Doom 3 or Quake III Arena and I know for a fact that I got about ten times the mileage from Quake I than I did with any of its sequels. Maybe the new Rage IP will open things up a bit that'll shift away from one-dimensional shooters and keep players coming back.

    I'd agree with the shift, but not to the extreme in which people of late are painting it.

  • Doom 3 was decent, but certainly not worth finishing. I was really irritated with how repetitive it was. BUT I gotta say when I first booted 'er up and played it. I was in awe, and the beginning levels were quite fun. But then they had to go and hammer that one bit home again and again.

    That said, Rage may or may not be awesome, like any game that's not yet released. id was a vastly influential company, but at this point I think their place as monumental genre-definer is over. They've made their huge contributions to the industry, and that's more than most companies can claim, so now we just sit back and hope they can make some good games. If not... oh well. At least a bitchin' graphics engine came about.

    And that, it should be mentioned, has NO bearing on their insight into the industry. John Carmack's clearly a sharp guy and worth hearing out on just about anything with which he's involved. The quality of recent work and potential of future work doesn't affect the fact that they've been in the biz for a long time now, so to me they're worth a listen.

  • I think these sorts of comments are fairly meaningless unless there's a precise articulation of what they actually mean in practice. It seems to me that what Carmack is saying is that the consoles are where they do their primary gameplay testing, but they're going to be supporting all the PC features that the hardcore have come to expect. If that's the case, then this news story is hardly a big deal.

    It's a bit like the 'UE4 will release first on consoles' story. In the end Mark Rein clarified that in their terminology, UE3 already released first on consoles, so the forum hysteria about Epic 'abandoning' the PC' was based on a complete misinterpretation.

    In the end it serves news sites to be sensationalist, but I really wish there could be some actual intelligent commentary, rather than the usual knee jerk reactions, for once.