Posted on August 10, 2007,

id Wants Recognition as Premiere Engine Licensee

id Software LogoWith Unreal Engine 3 (UE3) based games dominating the market lately (Stranglehold, Bioshock, Mass Effect, etc.), id Software has largely been under the radar. One only has to look back less than a decade and note that they were unquestionably the dominant engine licensee. Indeed, how times have changed.

What handful of titles that were made using their last engine (Doom3, Quake4, Prey) will eventually exist as minor footnotes in gaming history. One can easily speculate “What went wrong?” Technology fumble? Your guess is as good as mine. Regardless, it looks like id is ready to move on and take back that spotlight. Enter id Tech 5. The UE3 killer? Not this year.

Chris Remo over at Shacknews recently sat down with id’s head honcho Todd Hollenstead and pumped him for information about the so called id of new. The read is interesting even if it’s a teaser of sorts. The thing that caught my eye was Hollenstead basically taking a shot at the widespread usage of UE3, saying, “In terms of an engine licensing philosophy–and you can read this anywhere, I’m not going secondhand here–Epic has a philosophy to license to everyone they can. That will not be our strategy. We will go with a lower number of what we think are high-value licensees and games, and try to service those, and not overcast our resources in providing support.”

Check me if I’m wrong here, but isn’t the whole idea of licensing an engine to make money? If that is indeed the case, isn’t it better to have more licensees instead of less? Maybe I’m wrong, but it would seem so to me. Of course, I could just suck at math.

Via Shacknews

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2 Comments on id Wants Recognition as Premiere Engine Licensee

used cisco

On August 10, 2007 at 11:33 pm

“Check me if I’m wrong here, but isn’t the whole idea of licensing an engine to make money? If that is indeed the case, isn’t it better to have more licensees instead of less? Maybe I’m wrong, but it would seem so to me. Of course, I could just suck at math.”

I don’t know that you’re necessarily wrong, but I think there is more at play here than just the number of licensees you can acquire. Look at UE3. It has tons of customers. But look at a LOT of them. Delay, delay, delay, lawsuit, delay. One might ask the question, if this situation might not be different if Epic were not spread so thin with so many licensees. Does the fact that Epic has SO many licensees hurt everyone a little bit? Even the gaming customer whose games are getting delayed? Which brings it down to quantity vs. quality. Now, we don’t know that id will represent quality, but that certainly seems to be the pitch of Mr. Hollenshead. Then again, what could he say when the current show is being run by UE3?

Jetsetlemming

On August 11, 2007 at 2:24 am

Ok, I’m gonna explain to you why the last ID tech failed and Unreal dominated it. Okay? You ready? Okay.
Doom 3 sucked. It was a horrible game, and graphically offered nothing new or exciting for the performance hit it gave compared to most similar games. The engine isn’t nearly as open and flexible as Quake 3 and the lead-in demonstration of it blew.
Even if you ignore all other factors: Just compare the sales results of Doom 3 versus Unreal Tournament 2004. Publishers like to back a winning proposition. Doom 3 isn’t what I would call “winning”. Quake 4 didn’t do any better, and Prey, while better, was mediocre and uninteresting in gaming at large.