id software

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id Software, Inc.

legal form Limited Liability Company
founding February 1, 1991
Seat Richardson , Texas , USA

id Software is an American development studio based in Richardson , Texas that specializes in the development of computer games and game engines . The name id (pronounced as one word) comes from the Latin name for it from the psychoanalysis , but originally stood for ideas from the deep.

Especially in the 1990s, id Software shaped the genre of first-person shooters with its Wolfenstein 3D , Doom and Quake game series as well as the graphic development of 3D computer games beyond the genre boundaries with the game engines largely developed by John Carmack . Since June 2009 the company has belonged to the computer game manufacturer ZeniMax Media and its publisher Bethesda Softworks .


Early years

It all began in the offices of soft disk, where John Carmack end of September In 1990, his first breakthrough: he had managed a soft- scrolling platformers run - Engine for the PC to write. Carmack and Tom Hall worked late into the night on a demo where you could play the first level of Super Mario Bros. 3 in Carmack's new engine. Since Hall didn't want to draw Mario too, they used graphics from John Romero's Dangerous Dave without further ado . Romero was also the first to see the demo. When he came to work the next morning, he found a floppy disk labeled "Run me" (German: start me ) on his computer. Romero was enthusiastic, something like this had not yet been implemented on PCs at that time. That same day, John Carmack, John Romero, Lane Roathe, Tom Hall and Jay Wilbur spoke about the future.

In their spare time, John Carmack, Romero and Hall work on a platform game with soft disk graphic designer Adrian Carmack . On December 14, 1990, Apogee Software released ids Commander Keen: Invasion of the Vorticons as shareware . The id Software company was officially founded on February 1, 1991. After the success of Commander Keen, the id founders had left Softdisk collectively on January 31, and so it came about that they still initially produced the monthly two-game floppy disks for Softdisk . These early id titles include Hovertank 3D and the Catacomb 3D games.

Apogee released Commander Keen: Goodbye Galaxy! (1991) and Wolfenstein 3D (1992). id Software broke with Apogee and released Doom as shareware on December 10, 1993 . Wolfenstein 3D and Doom were largely responsible for the further development of the first-person shooter genre and are still shaping the style today.

Recognized achievements in the field of 3D computer graphics made the lead programmer of id Software, John Carmack, known. Two founding members, Tom Hall and John Romero, later left id Software and pursued careers as game developers . Hall left the company while developing Doom because most of his ideas weren't implemented in the game. Romero, the decisive influence on the game design of Doom and Quake , had been after the release of 1996 Quake suggested due to disagreements with John and Adrian Carmack to leave id Software. In the same year, Todd Hollenshead joined the company as CEO.

From the turn of the millennium to the takeover

In the years around 2000, id Software made a large part of its sales by licensing the game engines developed for its own games to other developers. The price for licensing the Quake III Arena engine from id was approximately $ 250,000 per game title. Older engines like Quake's id Tech 2 and Quake 2 cost $ 10,000. Older engines were also regularly released under the license terms of the GNU GPL and offered for download free of charge (currently: id Tech 1–4).

At the beginning of 2004, Todd Hollenshead and Tim Willits became new co-owners of the company alongside the previous shareholders Adrian Carmack, John Carmack and Kevin Cloud. In August 2004, Doom 3 was released after four years of development. Id Software developed a new engine especially for the game, id Tech 4 . The last title in the Quake series, Quake 4 , was also developed on the Doom 3 engine ( id Tech 4 ) by Raven Software under the senior supervision of id Software . A similar collaboration took place for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars , which was developed by Splash Damage . This was the first time that the MegaTexture technology was used. In 2005 Adrian Carmack left the company under pressure from his business partners. A lawsuit ensued, as he accused the four other co-owners of having pushed him out of the company through a tactic of many small pinpricks in order to get below value to his shares of 41%. It was also announced that ids publishing partner Activision had submitted multiple takeover bids for the company and its brands, most recently for USD 105 million.

At the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference 2008, John Carmack presented the new engine with the name id Tech 5 for the first time . It is being developed in parallel for operation on PC and Mac as well as on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles . As it became more and more difficult for id Software as an independent developer to continue to get financed orders from publishers, the company agreed in June 2009 to be taken over by ZeniMax Media and its publishing arm Bethesda Softworks . The purchase price was not disclosed. However, a notice to the stock exchange regulator revealed that Zenimax raised $ 105 million in additional capital for the purchase through convertible bonds and order papers . Todd Hollenshead resigned from his CEO position and was instead appointed President of id Software. He was also appointed to the Zenimax Board of Directors .

In early 2011, the company moved from Mesquite to Richardson .

In October 2011, Rage was released, which id Software developed in-house. It is a first-person shooter with racing game elements set in an end-time scenario. The game has a new background story that does not make any reference to the previous game series of the developer studio. However, Rage contains allusions to Wolfenstein 3D , Doom and Quake and the first levels of the respective games are included in Rage as an Easter egg . The game officially presented by id Software for the first time at QuakeCon 2007 is based on the new engine id Tech 5 .

In June 2013, Todd Hollenshead left the company after 17 years. In November 2013, John Carmack was the last founding member to leave the development studio after having been hired as Chief Technology Officer of Oculus VR three months earlier .

On May 13, 2016, id released the new edition of Doom .

Games produced in-house

Co-produced games

Games with a licensed id engine

Commander Keen engine
Wolfenstein 3D engine
Doom engine (id Tech 1)
Quake engine (id Tech 2)
Quake 2 engine (id Tech 2)
Quake 3 engine (id Tech 3)
Doom 3 engine (id Tech 4)
id Tech 5
id Tech 6


Web links

Commons : Id Software  - Collection of Pictures, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. Taking its name from Freud's primal, instinct-driven face of the human psyche. Archive link ( Memento from February 9, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  2. Bethesda confirms departure from id Software's longtime biz guy
  3. Id Software: New co-owners
  4. Id Software turned down Activision takeover bid ( Memento from March 2, 2006 in the Internet Archive )
  5. id: Why We Sold To ZeniMax
  6. ZeniMax raised $ 105 million to buy id
  9. Mitch Dyer: id Software President Todd Hollenshead Leaves Company. In: IGN Entertainment . Ziff Davis , June 26, 2013, accessed August 6, 2015 .
  10. John Carmack officially resigns from 4Players , accessed on November 23, 2013