New games from id Software
But what are they?
It all started last Wednesday, when id Software's PR company sent out a press release saying "NEW GAMES FROM ID SOFTWARE, QUAKECON 2001". And nothing more. On Monday they expanded on this, saying that Quakecon would include an "ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW GAMES/Q&A SESSION". Which was equally helpful. In the meantime websites have been speculating as to what these mysterious "new games" will be.
Our own best guess is that they are referring to the GameBoy Advance version of Doom and id's own new Doom title for the PC, both of which we know about already but neither of which have been officially announced yet. It's also possible that Commander Keen could come to the GameBoy Advance after a successful outing on the old GameBoy Color recently, or that an Xbox port of an existing Quake game could be in the works. Both Quake 3 Revolution on the PS2 and Quake 3 : Dreamcast featured some new maps and gameplay elements, so it wouldn't be a huge surprise to discover that another company has been porting Quake 3 across to DirectX and adding a few new features along the way.
But for the last week rumours have been rife that Quake 4 would be unveiled at the event in August. The speculation started with British magazine PC Zone, which only offered "it just smells right" as justification for their wild stab in the dark. Now tabloid gaming site CVG has added fuel to the fire, suggesting that "solid talk from industry insiders is claiming the development of Quake 4 has been out-sourced by id Software", and that the game has been under construction for the last six months at an un-named development studio. This seems a little unlikely, as Quake is (along with Doom) id's most valuable property, and it would be strange for them to hand off the sequel to another company. Also, Todd Hollenshead told 3D Action Planet just last week that "a sequel to one of the Quake games is an interesting opportunity, under the right circumstances and at the right time" (our emphasis), which seems to be somewhat less than a ringing endorsement.
Whether any of this rampant speculation will turn out to be true remains to be seen, but given the traditionally unreliable source of the rumours about Quake 4 we are rather sceptical at this stage.