Quake 4 confirmed
New games not from id Software
The hype and rumours have been building for weeks, ever since id Software's PR company sent out a cryptic press release promising that "new games from id" would be announced at the QuakeCon event in Dallas. Today was the big day, and the first reports are coming in of just what it was that id were announcing. Top of the list is confirmation that Quake 4 is under construction at Raven, using the Doom 3 engine. The new game will be a single player focused offering set in the Strogg universe seen in Quake 2, as opposed to the garbled Lovecraftian pastiche of Quake and the off-the-wall Sonic-inspired world of Quake 3 Arena. Probably a wise move, all things considered.
The other big new announcement was that Nerve, who are currently working on the multiplayer portion of Return to Castle Wolfenstein, will also be developing the first game in a new id Software franchise. Details are rather thin on the ground at this early stage, but apparently the game will be focused on co-operative multiplayer and will be a radical departure from previous id offerings. Could this be the fabled Quest? It could be a while before we know for sure, but apparently it is a project which was dreamed up by id Software during the development of Quake 3 only to be shelved in favour of Doom 3, so Quest would fit the bill...
Overall then the picture is .. bizarre. Currently id Software are hard at work on a sequel to their most popular game (Doom), but at the same time they have farmed out the task of developing sequels for their next biggest franchises (Quake and Wolfenstein 3D) to outside companies. And to top it all, Nerve (which is itself headed up by a former id level designer) is working on the project which id should have been developing now if the company hadn't chickened out and fallen back on familiar first person shooter territory.
In fact, it looks as though id are heading towards becoming a production studio rather than a developer, creating technology and franchises but leaving other people to actually build most of the games. It's a funny old world.