EA to publish id Software's Rage

Expect more game details at QuakeCon.

Electronic Arts will publish id Software's upcoming multiformat driving/shooter hybrid Rage, the superpublisher announced at its E3 press conference in LA today.

Id programming monster John Carmack took the stage and said it was a "big deal". "This will give us full access to EA's worldwide marketing muscle without taking away our ability to build games the way it should be done," Carmack explained.

The game's release date is unknown ("when it's done" if you want to be pedantic), but Carmack said at QuakeCon last summer that it was on a four-year development cycle - work having begun 18 months previously - so our money is on Christmas 2009 or later.

Rage will be id's first simultaneous release on PS3, Xbox 360, PC and Mac thanks to advances made in the company's new game engine, id Tech 5, for which Rage is something of a banner title.

"Rage represents a new direction for our games," id CEO Todd Hollenshead said in a statement marking the EA partnership announcement. "Rage is a shooter unlike any other, developed on our cutting edge new technology, and built to the exacting standards id is famous for. We're excited to have the support of EA Partners to launch Rage on the world."

Meanwhile, EA Partners' David DeMartini said id was "one of the best development studios in the world" and that the deal with the Texan developer "is the epitome of EA Partners' mission" to "provide the world's best developers with access to the world's best publishing resources".

Rage puts players in the role of a survivor in a post-apocalyptic world where a nascent civilisation is being distorted by naughty new leaders. A lot of details are up in the air but it's clear you'll be driving around vast landscapes (replete with id Tech 5's fancy Megatexture technology - an evolution of the Enemy Territory: Quake Wars technique) sprucing up your Mad Max-style ride and getting into first-person shooter fights with the locals.

Id's been working hard to get the driving mechanics right, testing them regularly with internal racing tournaments.

You can read what we already know about Rage in last year's extensive preview/interview, where id's Tim Willits told us everything he could think of.

And we'll be back at QuakeCon at the end of the month to report on the latest revelations. Id's announcement of the EA deal concluded with the promise that "additional information" will be forthcoming.

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