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[Merger Day]id software merges with ZeniMax. Mythic and Bioware merge too

BlindPsychicBlindPsychic Registered User regular
edited June 2009 in Games and Technology
Two of the most acclaimed game development studios of all time are joining forces. ZeniMax Media, parent company of Fallout 3 and Elder Scrolls development studio Bethesda Softworks, announced today that it is purchasing legendary Doom and Wolfenstein studio id.

In an interview with Kotaku, id co-founder John Carmack, id CEO Todd Hollenshead and ZeniMax CEO Robert Altman said the purchase will change none of the principles or principals of id and Bethesda but will allow id to grow like it never has before. The purchase does not affect plans for previously announced games from id that are slated for release through other publishers, including the Activision-backed Wolfenstein and the EA Partners-planned Rage.

Why did id sell?

"We're really getting kind of tired competing with our own publishers in terms of how our titles will be featured," Carmack said. "And we've really gotten more IPs than we've been able to take advantage of. And working with other companies hasn't been working out as spectacularly as it could. So the idea of actually becoming a publisher and merging Bethesda and ZeniMax on there [is ideal.] It would be hard to imagine a more complementary relationship. They are triple A, top-of-the-line in what they do in the RPGs. And they have no overlap with all the things we do in the FPSes."

Hollenshead said ZeniMax's acquisition will allow id to grow its internal teams, staffing up the groups working on the next Doom — which will now be a ZeniMax game — and the Quake Live team, for starters.

The goal, explained Carmack, is for id to handle all of its own IPs. "We can build the pipeline and have a regular pipeline of releases."

Altman described the deal as a "win for fans of id." He said the deal came about when Hollenshead approached him. ZeniMax had been looking to acquire developers and wanted id, but didn't know it was available until approached. The merger had been in the works for months, according to the men on the call today.

In a press release for today's news, Altman laid out a vision for a robust id: "We, along with many others, consider id Software to be among the finest game studios in the world, with extraordinary design, artistic and technical capabilities. They have demonstrated, repeatedly, that rare ability to create franchise properties that are critical and commercial successes. Our intention is to make sure id Software will continue to do what they do best – make AAA games. Our role will be to provide publisher support through Bethesda Softworks and give id Software the resources it needs to grow and expand."

No co-developed games are planned at this time. But, they joked, getting those Fallout bobbleheads into Rage would be fun
http://kotaku.com/5302060/id-software-bought-by-bethesda-parent-company-zenimax

Didn't see this posted yet. Its pretty crazy

edit:
galenblade wrote: »
Apparently it's merger day today. Mythic and Bioware just combined, too.

Now with link.

BlindPsychic on

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    BurnageBurnage Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Could this mean there is hope for a Bethesda-style Doom RPG?

    It'd be like Oblivion with Big Fucking Guns.

    Burnage on
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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    The way he's describing it makes sense. No more publisher issues, ability to focus on more of their IP's instead of farming them out.

    subedii on
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    HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I wish there was more elaboration on that publishing issue, I don't quite get it. Nor do I get how such a merger would solve it. In any case, they say that id will still handle its own IPs so... I dunno.

    Also, this is out of left field, damn.

    Henroid on
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    freakish lightfreakish light butterdick jones and his heavenly asshole machineRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Burnage wrote: »
    Could this mean there is hope for a Bethesda-style Doom RPG?

    It'd be like Oblivion with Big Fucking Guns.

    More like Fallout in Hell.

    freakish light on
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    bongibongi regular
    edited June 2009
    Sweet. Maybe id could show Bethesda how to make good shooting mechanics for the next Fallout.

    bongi on
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    CarbonFireCarbonFire See you in the countryRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Bethesda and id....

    A match made in Bizarro World o_O

    But hey, if it allows id the freedom to make better games, I'm all for it (hopefully they can lend their animators out to Bethesda on occasion as well ;-))

    CarbonFire on
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    HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    bongi wrote: »
    Sweet. Maybe id could show Bethesda how to make good shooting mechanics for the next Fallout.

    This just in, ad for the next Fallout released!
    idfallout.jpg

    Henroid on
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    cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Henroid wrote: »
    I wish there was more elaboration on that publishing issue, I don't quite get it. Nor do I get how such a merger would solve it. In any case, they say that id will still handle its own IPs so... I dunno.

    Also, this is out of left field, damn.

    It's Activision. Activision now refuses to publish anything that isn't absolutely ginormous and can be sequelled to death, and I'm sure they were clamoring for Dooms 4-17 to be released by next March. There ya go.

    Yeah, this hurts Activision a wee bit. It's not a HUGE blow given their large number of franchises, but the iD stuff did well for them.

    cloudeagle on
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    FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2009
    Activision is still publishing the next Wolfenstein and EA is still publishing Rage at this point. Then again, Activision might throw a fit about this, who knows.

    FyreWulff on
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    AriviaArivia I Like A Challenge Earth-1Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    what

    fake edit: no, seriously, what? I can't see this having any effect on each others games, it's just like I can get Count Chocula and Captain Crunch in the same box but they taste terrible together blagggggh.

    Arivia on
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    HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Okay, now it makes more sense.

    A tiny voice inside of me is sorta chanting, "Yeah, stick it to the man!" The man being Activision.

    Henroid on
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    galenbladegalenblade Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Apparently it's merger day today. Mythic and Bioware just combined, too.

    Now with link.

    galenblade on
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    HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    galenblade wrote: »
    Apparently it's merger day today. Mythic and Bioware just combined, too.

    What the ffffffff?

    Henroid on
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    Mostlyjoe13Mostlyjoe13 Evil, Evil, Jump for joy! Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    galenblade wrote: »
    Apparently it's merger day today. Mythic and Bioware just combined, too.

    Now with link.

    *headexplode* Whaaaa?

    Mostlyjoe13 on
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    CarbonFireCarbonFire See you in the countryRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    cloudeagle wrote: »
    Henroid wrote: »
    I wish there was more elaboration on that publishing issue, I don't quite get it. Nor do I get how such a merger would solve it. In any case, they say that id will still handle its own IPs so... I dunno.

    Also, this is out of left field, damn.

    It's Activision. Activision now refuses to publish anything that isn't absolutely ginormous and can be sequelled to death, and I'm sure they were clamoring for Dooms 4-17 to be released by next March. There ya go.

    Yeah, this hurts Activision a wee bit. It's not a HUGE blow given their large number of franchises, but the iD stuff did well for them.

    I think id had already jumped the Activision ship after Quake Wars and their mega merger with Vivendi.

    Rage is their latest title, and that's being put out by EA. Besides, id is not a company that can churn out sequels in short order, even with Raven picking up the slack.

    All this aside, I hope this gives id the time and resources they need to finish Rage properly. id has been a shadow of their former selves for years now, they need a home run now to really put themselves back into the upper echelons of "best developers in the industry".

    CarbonFire on
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    SorensonSorenson Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Wow. Unexpected as all get, but certainely sounding nice according to that article.

    PREPOST CHECK: God day-um, Mythic/Bioware too? Today be like a gaming industry swinger's party or something.

    Sorenson on
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    cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    galenblade wrote: »
    Apparently it's merger day today. Mythic and Bioware just combined, too.

    Now with link.

    *headexplode* Whaaaa?

    Apparently EA decided to consolidate their RPG makers when Mythic's founder left.

    cloudeagle on
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    darleysamdarleysam On my way to UKRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Arivia wrote: »
    what

    fake edit: no, seriously, what? I can't see this having any effect on each others games, it's just like I can get Count Chocula and Captain Crunch in the same box but they taste terrible together blagggggh.

    This is.. nothing like that at all. It doesn't mean id and Bethesda are working on the same games. It just means they're both ZeniMax companies.

    It's more like Cornflakes here and Frosties there.

    darleysam on
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    Mostlyjoe13Mostlyjoe13 Evil, Evil, Jump for joy! Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Holy Sir Francis Drake! Someone needs to...nevermind thread title updated. Man. I can't wait to see the kinda....OH! I know why EA did that. Rather than spend a boatload setting up endless MMO server side support EA has taken Mythic's team and handed their manpower over to Bioware for the SW:TOR MMO. As needed.

    Mostlyjoe13 on
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    HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    darleysam wrote: »
    Arivia wrote: »
    what

    fake edit: no, seriously, what? I can't see this having any effect on each others games, it's just like I can get Count Chocula and Captain Crunch in the same box but they taste terrible together blagggggh.

    This is.. nothing like that at all. It doesn't mean id and Bethesda are working on the same games. It just means they're both ZeniMax companies.

    It's more like Cornflakes here and Frosties there.

    Let me put this shitty analogy to rest: It's like Kellogg's taking Captain Crunch under its wing; ZeniMax is Kelloggs and Captain Crunch is id. We done with this now? :P

    Henroid on
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    darleysamdarleysam On my way to UKRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Henroid wrote: »
    darleysam wrote: »
    Arivia wrote: »
    what

    fake edit: no, seriously, what? I can't see this having any effect on each others games, it's just like I can get Count Chocula and Captain Crunch in the same box but they taste terrible together blagggggh.

    This is.. nothing like that at all. It doesn't mean id and Bethesda are working on the same games. It just means they're both ZeniMax companies.

    It's more like Cornflakes here and Frosties there.

    Let me put this shitty analogy to rest: It's like Kellogg's taking Captain Crunch under its wing; ZeniMax is Kelloggs and Captain Crunch is id. We done with this now? :P

    Well it's a lot like the car industry..

    darleysam on
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    BlindPsychicBlindPsychic Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    One of the problems lately, Carmack told Kotaku, is that id just wasn't a good fit with big publishers these days. "As we were shopping Rage and Doom and upcoming stuff, talking about all of that, we were getting a pretty consistent line from all the publishers," he said. "They were willing to continue to fund our working with partner companies for all of these but pretty much ever publisher said, ‘Well, it would be worth much more to us if you would grow your studio and do more of your own work internally. That's why we already started to staff up to do Doom 4 internally. So things were already moving in that direction."

    Carmack spoke specifically of Activision, where id's games such as the upcoming Wolfenstein (developed in partnership with Raven), would be published under the same label as works from Activision's internal studios, like Call of Duty and Modern Warfare studios Treyarch and Infinity Ward. "Going back to a much earlier time," Carmack said, "We were just Activision's shooter shop. We did the FPSes there. There was no conflict, and that was great. But they brought on their own internal studios and there's a very real conflict there between whether they want to put resources behind something they own the IP for and derive all the profit for versus something where they don't own the IP and they might feel like any effort they're putting into it isn't going into their value but somebody else's. That problem has grown over the years as budgets have increased."

    Hollenshead told Kotaku that he found ZeniMax to have the closest match with id in terms of a philosophy on how to best make and sell games. It was a better fit, he said, than the studio's recent publishing partners Activision and EA.

    What comes out of the deal is a stronger id, the men say. "Things aren't really going to be different in terms of what's going on at id," Hollenshead said. "We're not going to change the kinds of games we make…. It allows us to accelerate the growth of our internal studios, so we can focus on making all of our internal games as opposed to working with external partners where there has been a step down in quality… There will be more, better games from id. So if you're a fan of the company, then it is all upside and all things to look forward to."

    Carmack's high on id even now, of course. He said the company just did a "first-look" event for upcoming EA-published, id-developed racing-FPS Rage last week and that it "went spectacularly."

    Doom 4 will be published by ZeniMax/Bethesda. The Wolfenstein and Rage games being made under Activision and EA's publishing labels, respectively, will continue as such. But any sequels will be ZeniMax games.

    And will there be any Bethesda-id crossover coming out of this? "The teams are very much separate," Carmack said. "There is a lot of mutual respect there. There's going to be a lot of communication and cross-pollination. I doubt there's going to be any technology shifts between the two companies, but there's certainly going to be cooperation. And I wouldn't be shocked to see some hints of different things crossing over in different ways. That's just the kind of stuff when you have lots of people who think everybody is working on cool stuff together."
    http://kotaku.com/5302139/id-why-we-sold-to-zenimax

    BlindPsychic on
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    Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Never thought I'd see the day when id was owned by another company.

    Or at least I never thought I'd see the day when id was owned by another company while Carmack was still employed there. I mean, are their new owners going to be as keen about open source releases as Carmack is?

    Undead Scottsman on
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    BlindPsychicBlindPsychic Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I think since most of bethesda's tech is licensed from elsewhere I don't think they'll care.

    BlindPsychic on
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    ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Never thought I'd see the day when id was owned by another company.

    Or at least I never thought I'd see the day when id was owned by another company while Carmack was still employed there. I mean, are their new owners going to be as keen about open source releases as Carmack is?

    You took the words right out of my mouth... errr... thoughts right out of my brain.

    Words typed out of my screen?

    I got nuttin'.

    Either way, hopefully both of these result in better things for both the companies and the consumers. Win/Win all around.

    Forar on
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    korodullinkorodullin What. SCRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    The only people who really look to lose out on an id/Zenimax partnership is whoever produces the Gamebryo middleware. id will almost certainly be a pretty much exclusive supplier of engines and tools to Bethsoft, which will hopefully mean less shitty engines for Elder Scrolls/Fallout games. Let's face it, Bethsoft's engines are terrible.

    The Mythic/Bioware (read: Bioware Austin) merger is more interesting to me, since it's less of a "merger" and more of a "we've all but shut down Mythic and will be cutting our losses." I've been reading that Mark Jacobs, who founded the company in the first place, has been pretty much fired.

    korodullin on
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    LitanyAgainstFearLitanyAgainstFear Registered User new member
    edited June 2009
    korodullin wrote: »
    The only people who really look to lose out on an id/Zenimax partnership is whoever produces the Gamebryo middleware. id will almost certainly be a pretty much exclusive supplier of engines and tools to Bethsoft, which will hopefully mean less shitty engines for Elder Scrolls/Fallout games. Let's face it, Bethsoft's engines are terrible.

    The Mythic/Bioware (read: Bioware Austin) merger is more interesting to me, since it's less of a "merger" and more of a "we've all but shut down Mythic and will be cutting our losses." I've been reading that Mark Jacobs, who founded the company in the first place, has been pretty much fired.

    God, are they ever. I've never had a game "crash to desktop" more than Oblivion and Fallout 3. With the possible exception of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

    Why do the good games have to hurt so bad? Why?

    LitanyAgainstFear on
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    kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Yeah, I wonder what happened w/mark jakobs. Is Warhamer not making money period, or is it not making -enough- money for EA's tastes? It seems stupid to force out good mythic people, if Jacobs was good at being a manager, to put in Bioware people with little MMORPG experience. If anything, i'd think that they'd be directing Bioware people on how to do the star wars MMORPG better.

    kaliyama on
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    korodullinkorodullin What. SCRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    kaliyama wrote: »
    Yeah, I wonder what happened w/mark jakobs. Is Warhamer not making money period, or is it not making -enough- money for EA's tastes? It seems stupid to force out good mythic people, if Jacobs was good at being a manager, to put in Bioware people with little MMORPG experience. If anything, i'd think that they'd be directing Bioware people on how to do the star wars MMORPG better.

    The bolded. Warhammer needed 500,000+ constant subscribers just to break even (Mark's words, not mine), and were banking on 1 million+ box sales. They only got 800k box sales and lost most of them within two months. They've been frantically launching in more and more territories in an attempt to bring in more people, but they just can't seem to push it over 300k or so, and they're rapidly running out of places to launch (burned through Europe, North America, Russia, South Korea, and Taiwan already).

    korodullin on
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    Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    korodullin wrote: »
    The only people who really look to lose out on an id/Zenimax partnership is whoever produces the Gamebryo middleware. id will almost certainly be a pretty much exclusive supplier of engines and tools to Bethsoft, which will hopefully mean less shitty engines for Elder Scrolls/Fallout games. Let's face it, Bethsoft's engines are terrible.

    The Mythic/Bioware (read: Bioware Austin) merger is more interesting to me, since it's less of a "merger" and more of a "we've all but shut down Mythic and will be cutting our losses." I've been reading that Mark Jacobs, who founded the company in the first place, has been pretty much fired.

    God, are they ever. I've never had a game "crash to desktop" more than Oblivion and Fallout 3. With the possible exception of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

    Why do the good games have to hurt so bad? Why?

    This may be the best part of this. I've never thought id's games were actually all that great. I enjoy most of them, but none of them strike me as particularly amazing.

    Except the technology. id pretty much leads everyone when it comes to innovation in 3D engines. Getting a company like Bethesda easy access to id's tech will only mean good things.

    That said, the only Bethesda game I like is FO3, so there's that.

    Nova_C on
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    kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    korodullin wrote: »
    kaliyama wrote: »
    Yeah, I wonder what happened w/mark jakobs. Is Warhamer not making money period, or is it not making -enough- money for EA's tastes? It seems stupid to force out good mythic people, if Jacobs was good at being a manager, to put in Bioware people with little MMORPG experience. If anything, i'd think that they'd be directing Bioware people on how to do the star wars MMORPG better.

    The bolded. Warhammer needed 500,000+ constant subscribers just to break even (Mark's words, not mine), and were banking on 1 million+ box sales. They only got 800k box sales and lost most of them within two months. They've been frantically launching in more and more territories in an attempt to bring in more people, but they just can't seem to push it over 300k or so, and they're rapidly running out of places to launch (burned through Europe, North America, Russia, South Korea, and Taiwan already).

    500,000 subscribers = 5,000,000 a month, at least. So 60mm a year.

    Where does that $60 million operating budget go? Depending on writeoffs, etc, and being generous, take 20 million off for taxes.

    40 million outstanding. I can't imagine it'd cost this much at all, but again, ~10 million for server infrastructure. There's no way that's going to be the cost, especially year over year.

    30mm in income. How does licensing fees, personnel and physical plant cost 30m/yr?? Even 100 employees @100,000/yr (which is assuming they're all coders), is costing you 10mm.

    I just don't get it. They might have to pay off debts incurred with startup fees over a 5 year window, but I don't see how they can't make do on 250k subscribers.

    kaliyama on
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    korodullinkorodullin What. SCRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    kaliyama wrote: »
    korodullin wrote: »
    kaliyama wrote: »
    Yeah, I wonder what happened w/mark jakobs. Is Warhamer not making money period, or is it not making -enough- money for EA's tastes? It seems stupid to force out good mythic people, if Jacobs was good at being a manager, to put in Bioware people with little MMORPG experience. If anything, i'd think that they'd be directing Bioware people on how to do the star wars MMORPG better.

    The bolded. Warhammer needed 500,000+ constant subscribers just to break even (Mark's words, not mine), and were banking on 1 million+ box sales. They only got 800k box sales and lost most of them within two months. They've been frantically launching in more and more territories in an attempt to bring in more people, but they just can't seem to push it over 300k or so, and they're rapidly running out of places to launch (burned through Europe, North America, Russia, South Korea, and Taiwan already).

    500,000 subscribers = 5,000,000 a month, at least. So 60mm a year.

    Where does that $60 million operating budget go? Depending on writeoffs, etc, and being generous, take 20 million off for taxes.

    40 million outstanding. I can't imagine it'd cost this much at all, but again, ~10 million for server infrastructure. There's no way that's going to be the cost, especially year over year.

    30mm in income. How does licensing fees, personnel and physical plant cost 30m/yr?? Even 100 employees @100,000/yr (which is assuming they're all coders), is costing you 10mm.

    I just don't get it. They might have to pay off debts incurred with startup fees over a 5 year window, but I don't see how they can't make do on 250k subscribers.

    You're forgetting that WAR cost a lot of money to make. "Somewhere south of" (read: pretty close to) $100 million is the figure I've heard. They probably haven't even recouped those costs until fairly recently (flopping in new territories costs money too), much less turned a profit from the game.

    korodullin on
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