"Strong factions internally" at id Software fancy returning the Quake series to its roots and the Lovecraftian-y stylings of the original Quake, id's technical wizard John Carmack has told Eurogamer. However, he makes quite clear, "Nothing is scheduled here, people are not building this."
"We went from the Quake II and the Quake 4 Strogg universe. We are at least tossing around the possibilities of going back to the bizarre, mixed up Cthulhu-ish Quake 1 world and rebooting that direction," Carmack said. "We think that would be a more interesting direction than doing more Strogg stuff after Quake 4."
"We certainly have strong factions internally that want to go do this," he explained. "But we could do something pretty grand like that, that still tweaks the memory right in all of those ways, but is actually cohesive and plays with all of the strengths of the level we're at right now."
The first Quake was a Doom-y shooter set in a moody fantasy dimension with Lovecraftian references, populated by hordes of demons. However, it also had plenty of industrial complexes, soldiers, and military weaponry. The mix-up stemmed from shifting focus during development; originally Quake was to star a Thor-like character with a mighty hammer, and feature RPG elements.
"I looked at the original Quake as this random thing, because we really didn't have our act together very well," Carmack said. "But because it was so seminal about the 3D world and the internet gaming, it's imprinted on so many people. It made such an impact in so many ways. Memory cuts us a lot of slack."
1997's Quake II had a whole new setting, pitting players against the techno-organic Strogg. Quake 4 continued the Strogg story in 2005, after 1999's Quake III: Arena largely did away single-player to focus on multiplayer.
id CEO Todd Hollenshead added, "People shouldn't worry that we're ever going to orphan or abandon Quake. We are huge fans of the game internally."