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id Software's Steve Nix Talks Quake Live Plans, Future

Right before QuakeCon 2010, id Software announced that Quake Live, it's free-to-play, browser-launched version of Quake III Arena, had left beta and would be getting two paid plans with additional content.

nope As for the free-to-play Quake Live, it's going to stay exactly the same, detailed here in a statement by Steve Nix, director of digital platforms at id Software, released to Shacknews prior to QuakeCon 2010.

"The basic offering that we had in Beta - with over 40 maps and all of the Beta game modes - will continue to be part of the free 'Standard' membership. We are not taking anything away from the players that just want to jump in and give Quake Live a try for free, but now we're offering a deeper experience that we'll continue to expand upon with new content, services and game modes."

At the show, I sat down with Steve, to get a bit more information about Quake Live and the project. New game modes might not be right around the corner, unfortunately, as "a new game mode is substantially more involved than a new map with everything we have to do on the front-end web services and back-end servers." The team at id, however, is "looking at what the community is asking for and some of the crazy ideas we have on the team," with respects to new modes.

Maps, however, should be quick to show up on the service. "We actually have 15 new maps that we're already working on that we'll be releasing," says Nix. "We haven't worked out the schedule, but ideally we'd like to release maps once a month."

nope Though the subscriptions to Quake Live are low per month--$2 and $4 a month for Premium and Pro respectively--plans are billed on an annual basis. It turns out, this is mostly due to credit card fees. "If you're charging $1.99 for something, but have a $1 in credit card fees it's really hard to make economically feasible," says Nix. "The idea was to find the absolute lowest cost we can keep the services at, but still do it on an annual basis."

With Quake Live based solely upon Quake III Arena, I asked if it is possible to give the same browser treatment to any other id Software titles or if we'll see new products developed in this way.

"We've talked about it and it's an interesting idea. Quake Live has a lot of moving parts from the software, to the worldwide server network, to the backend servers we have in California. It's a non-trivial task to bring another game into Quake Live. It's something we've definitely talked about and some of the mods out there might make sense, but it's a large commitment."