id CEO terms Quake Live an entertainment success

id CEO Todd Hollenshead says that Quake Live is a creative success, but the company needs to figure out how to make it a financial one as well.


Speaking with about the company's entry into the world of free-to-play, Quake Live, id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead said, "The game is an entertainment success, so now we have to figure out how to make the business model work." The reality that's set in, though, is that the in game advertising model hasn't been anywhere near as profitable as hoped. Facebook games, where the advertising is pervasive, thrive on it, but showing players dynamic ads while they play Quake hasn't proven nearly as effective.

In the wake of that failing to generate the income to sustain the game, id implemented a new subscription model, and added traditional Internet advertising such as ads on the site and video advertising. The company hopes to recoup some of its losses through these means. Quake Live certainly isn't dead yet. "As long as I've got an opportunity to try and do something with Quake Live--because I love the game--[I'll do it]," said Hollenshead.

From The Chatty
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    August 9, 2011 6:00 PM

    Garnett Lee posted a new article, id CEO terms Quake Live an entertainment success.

    id CEO Todd Hollenshead says that Quake Live is a creative success, but the company needs to figure out how to make it a financial one as well.

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      August 9, 2011 6:02 PM

      Hats, duh.

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        August 9, 2011 6:06 PM

        You'll be hearing from our lawyers!

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          August 9, 2011 11:03 PM

          A patent on patholofically-coveted head-covering for non-existent heads

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        August 9, 2011 7:04 PM

        I would pay for some obscene taunts.

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        August 9, 2011 8:02 PM

        Character skins, weapon skins, weapon visual effects, etc would probly make them a lot more money than premium accounts.

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      August 9, 2011 6:03 PM

      Alas, I love playing new maps and wouldn't mind paying for them, but, from what i've heard, not enough people are around to even fill them since they are subscription only.

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        August 9, 2011 7:23 PM

        Sadly, this is true. The maps get a huge amount of play during the free or open special event weekends, otherwise you could wait around for ten minutes on an empty premium server waiting for it to fill up. Bring your A-Game too, because most everyone that joins will probably be at least Tier3/borderline Tier 4.

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      August 9, 2011 6:13 PM

      Me and the many diehards who just love this game would gladly keep paying a yearly sub fee to play. I just hope that if the free-to-play model doesn't pan out -- which I can rationally see happening -- that they keep it going on a subscription basis with fewer servers. Those of us playing in tier 4 are already pretty much playing against subscription only players whose names we all recognize.

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      August 9, 2011 6:18 PM

      They need to figure out how to leverage the technology. Maybe give Doom4 a strong multilayer component that uses it?

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      August 9, 2011 6:20 PM

      They are just behind the times in so many ways. I think they need to hire people from Valve.

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        August 9, 2011 7:08 PM

        Rage proves they are NOT behind the times. Browser Quake was an experiment.

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        August 9, 2011 7:09 PM

        If Hats are the modern times, then I'm happy living in the past.

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        August 9, 2011 7:24 PM

        No, not really. Rage will put id back on top. I am very confident in saying this after playing Rage.

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        August 10, 2011 4:07 AM

        nope, keep them lame hats off quake plz

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      August 9, 2011 6:25 PM

      I was still playing regular Quake 3 Arena before this came out . Jumped into Quake Live when the beta opened up. It's still the most fast paced, solid multiplayer shooter out there, bar none (Although, I am bias I admit). The one thing I love about it is it brought the community back together again, got the old players back in, giving it a solid community. I haven't gone premium yet, but it is tempting, I just wonder if there's enough players with premium to make premium viable, particularly in Australia where the community is small enough as it is.

      I do miss the gibs of the original Q3A though, the sparkle explosion when you get a frag isn't anywhere near as exciting, if they threw that option into premium I'd be sold I think. Which makes me think I might have issues...

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      August 9, 2011 7:07 PM

      I guess they needed to say this to counter what John Carmack said in his recent Q&A?

      Anyway, personally I haven't played Browser Quake because the servers were down indefinitely when I tried to play after release. I'm assuming it's better now?

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        August 9, 2011 9:21 PM

        'Entertainment success' was Carmack's own words. The whole quakelive operation seems a bit adrift. Think about all the mediocre crap content that's out there, making money, and id can't turn a profit on a hugely enjoyable product with world class name recognition. What, because Massive went out of business? Whoever's in charge of marketing that product needs a wakeup call.

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          August 9, 2011 10:49 PM

          Definitely agree. They need way more advertising and a bigger playerbase. The game is rock solid for its deathmatch and game modes, but the gamer population is starved for players.

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        August 9, 2011 10:48 PM

        Up-time on the servers exceeds 99% of the time. Play it, buy it. Thanks.

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      August 9, 2011 7:12 PM


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        August 9, 2011 10:46 PM

        It's not that cut and dry. What about a marketing project? You can sink millions into them in order to bolster sales. It takes money to make money sometimes. Any "free" project released can fall under that same category if you choose it to.

        I released a free addon recently and its only purpose was to increase awareness of my paid projects. That in itself doesn't translate into direct cash flow, but it is important, none-the-less.

        id's goal was probably to keep the core gamers happy, and in turn the core gamers will spread the word, say nice things about id in message boards, and generally give praise for id's generosity. Valve has a similar following. Such a thing is invaluable.

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      August 9, 2011 7:32 PM

      I would attribute the poor financial performance to lack of paypal payment option. (Im pretty sure when I paid it was cc only). I've seen handfuls of people that would like to go premium but want to use paypal.

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      August 9, 2011 7:41 PM

      How is the new FTP Tribes gonna make money again?

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        August 10, 2011 8:49 AM

        They are going to sell kits. They are adopting a League of Legends F2P system.

        Free kits are going to be on a weekly rotation so that you don't have to buy them to enjoy the game. If you want to keep one forever, you have to spend money. I'm not sure they is going to be in-game points or not to be able to purchase them without paying anything.

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      August 10, 2011 4:04 AM

      I just think its a bad fit.

      Quake is a hardcore game.... what hardcore gamer wants to play browser based games from years ago? They like to play games that will test their dual GPU graphics to the limits!

      Obviously reading the comments there are people who love it but i don't see a big enough appeal to make it successful.

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        August 10, 2011 4:27 AM

        A hardcore gamer wants to play what's best. That has nothing to do with graphics. It has to do with physics, gameplay, balance etc. The hardcore people are the ones who muddy down the detail to nothing for visibility anyway.

        You're thinking of a fidelity whore. One who loves to turn up details they will never notice just to brag about the framerate. That's closer to a wine taster than a gamer.

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          August 10, 2011 9:02 AM

          A Hardcore gamer is a loose term. It can mean so many different things.

          I'd call them competitive gamers.

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        August 10, 2011 6:20 AM

        With enough people playing the matching making would place you in games with peers. But that's not going to happen as is.

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          August 10, 2011 6:43 AM

          the match making only applies to Duel really. The Tiering does a bit better with CTF and CA games, but it's still nothing to get excited about.

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        August 10, 2011 8:38 AM

        Quakelive doesn't look bad in the sense that many older games look bad. Quake has a distinct enough look that it ages pretty well. In some ways it's more visually pleasing than quake4 mp.

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      August 10, 2011 6:38 AM

      I've done my part as a premium member. It's still the best online FPS IMO. I love BC2, TF2, and Brink but when it comes to playing the most intense and demanding shooter, it's still Quake.

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