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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  • 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.