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id Tech 5 only for Bethesda titles

id Software no longer licensing engine.

id Software boss Todd Hollenshead has told Eurogamer that id Tech 5 will not be licensed out to third party developers and publishers.

Launched with great fanfare at QuakeCon 2007, id Tech 5 forms the basis of the studio's flagship Rage title and had been billed as a competitor in the middleware business to the likes of Unreal Engine 3.

Following id Software's acquisition by ZeniMax Media in 2009, however, Hollenshead said that the technology would be reserved for games published by ZeniMax and Bethesda Softworks.

"It's going to be used within ZeniMax, so we're not going to license it to external parties," Hollenshead told Eurogamer at QuakeCon 2010 in Dallas today.

"It's like, look, this is a competitive advantage and we want to keep it within games we publish - not necessarily exclusively to id or id titles, but if you're going to make a game with id Tech 5 then it needs to be published by Bethesda, which I think is a fair thing."

Hollenshead said he could imagine the technology being used by third-party developers, but only if their games were published by Bethesda, under which circumstances id would withhold nothing.

Asked whether he regretted not being able to scale the same heights of middleware success as Epic Games, whose Unreal Engine 3 technology is virtually ubiquitous in this generation, Hollenshead paid tribute to his rival.

"I think that [Epic] made a strategic choice to focus on the middleware service stuff, and we never pretended to be focused on technology licensing.

"It was that we made the technology for our games, and the philosophy was that with the one team the technology was wasted if you're just using it on one game, so we wanted to be able to license it out to a small number of developers.

"Epic's made a good business out of that so kudos to them, but I wouldn't change the way we've done things."

Look out for the full Todd Hollenshead interview in the near future.

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Tom Bramwell avatar

Tom Bramwell


Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.


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