During his impromptu and unscripted talk at this year's QuakeCon, id Software's John Carmack explained why EA is publishing Rage (PC, PS3, 360) instead of the company's traditional publishing partner Activision.
"It's easy for people outside to read more into something than is actually there," said Carmack. "We did not have a huge falling out with Activision or anything."
He stressed that Valve's positive experience with the EA Partners program was "very important to us" as was the personal involvement of EA CEO John Riccitiello. and that "Valve speaks very highly of their relationship with EA Partners."
Carmack's complete explanation follows:
The way we did it with Rage is, we've actually gone out and shopped the title three times. It's nice to know that we have the position where publishers will say, sight unseen, we'll give you this many million dollars. And so we said okay, we'll think about it. We're in a nice position where we can fund our own game development.
If we had signed a deal before we did the reboot from Darkness, that would have been really traumatic for the publisher.
Just recently we did the third round.. and said okay, everybody make your final offer. In addition to Activision and EA, we talked to THQ and Sega. There were pros and cons to every publisher.. In the end it came down to the heavy weights, Activision and EA.
Valve speaks very highly of their relationship with EA Partners, and that was very important to us.
We have Riccitiello in from EA, and he was making cogent game comments about the game, comparing it to other things, design level things, and that was kind of interesting to see, a CEO at that level really does care about the specifics of the game. But again, there's every chance in the world we'll end up with Activision for Doom.
Darkness was this shooter set on some kind of island that id was making after Doom 3. They worked on it for a year then scrapped it and started Rage.
He mentions a little more about it from last year's QuakeCon: