Once upon a time there was a little company called id Software.  They made PC games, for PC gamers.  They knew their fans, and their fans knew them.

However, times have changed.

With their newest IP, RAGE, id is opening themselves up to a very different ‘fanscape’ by releasing the game simultaneously on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

That being said, during the 20 Years of id panel at Quake Con last month, I stood up and jokingly asked various id ‘legends’ what they thought of the, “Console scum that are ruining hardcore gaming!”

The crowd (made up of roughly 99% PC gamers) cheered and laughed (as did the guys on stage) but all kidding aside, the guys on stage knew the pitfalls of abandoning your hardcore fanbase all too well – and a lengthy discussion followed.

id technical director and resident rocket scientist, John Carmack notably remarked:

You would not be able to have the games that are developed today without the broader reach of the console market.

So, the next day I caught up with one of the panelists, id’s CEO Todd Hollenshead, to ask what he really does think of the, “console scum” and what it’s like for id looking toward the future as a true multiplatform developer:

As you can tell, while Todd and the guys are looking toward their future as a multiplatform developer with promise, they clearly have not forgotten who their hardcore fans are.  Sure, if RAGE was purely a PC game, they would have done some things differently, but rest assured, RAGE on PC is a vastly different experience.  Hell, if the BYOC at Quake Con 2011 was any indication, id fans aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

The company wants to make sure they’re not just appealing to their hardcore PC audience, but their new console audience as well.  As Todd says, if RAGE can satisfy the hardcore PC gamers, it’ll be an easy sell on the consoles too.

Is it daunting when you’re about to release your first new IP in over a decade to a completely new audience?  Of course it is!  But if anyone can do it, id can.  Especially with the Bethesda marketing machine behind them 100%.

Stay tuned to RipTen for continued coverage of RAGE and all things id Software.

32 COMMENTS

  1. Anyone who believes a game should be on one system only (with exceptions of games made by companies like microsoft or sony – whom own piece of the market with their respective consoles), lives in a world not governed by money. There are MILLIONS of dollars to be made by including more than one platform in your development. The way the industry keeps getting larger and requiring more up-front money to make big budget games happen, the more developers are going to need to rely on moving their product around various platforms.

    If say, Rage sells 6 million units across PS3/360 (and that’s not that crazy of a number considering the hype around the title) – that’s an extra ~$36,000,000 all of a sudden floating around for id (bethesda and anyone else involved in getting the game to stores) that you can guarantee will help fund their next project.

    Scoffing at consoles and claiming they’re ruining gaming is absurd.

    • You are right, from a business/money making point of view. BUT, what people are ranting about is the perceived drop in quality/depth of experience and value for money since the console explosion. It does not mean a game is top quality/ground breaking if it sells like crazy. If that was true, Justin Bieber would be a better musician than Mozart. Economic growth does not equal growth of the art form.

      • Ehh… I wouldn’t compare Beiber to consoles :S

        That aside, I think  ‘PC Elitists’ care too much for graphical prowess. It’s not larger textures, more sophisticated anti-aliasing and volumetric particle effects that make a game great, rather, it’s the experience and the world you get sucked into that makes a game memorable. There is no loss of “depth of experience” or value just because a version of a game has lower specs than it’s counterpart on another system.

        When was the last time you played a title on PC that looked leaps and bounds ahead of the rest yet had ‘ho-hum’ features in the realm of story, gameplay etc and was remembered amongst gamers as something that was “ground breaking”? I’m willing to bet it’s a hard task. Back in 2007 people had their heads snapped back by the visuals of Crysis – and the title is remembered as such, but the game itself was actually rather good. Great controls, decent story, intense action etc all make it stand out. Had Crysis been a bad game, I guarantee it wouldn’t of been as well remembered.

        • I agree with you that graphics are not the be all and end all of a good game. I place gameplay and story above graphics. The problem “PC Elitists”, which I do not consider myself to be although I game mostly from my PC, have with consoles is that in order to really revolutionize game graphics and gameplay (system memory plays a factor here – think destruction) developers would need to invest more time in the PC development side than usual. And from what I have seen developing games for consoles are rather trivial compared to PC’s – from a technological point of view (DX9-consoles, DX10, DX10.1, DX11 and the various graphics cards + CPU’s with their various cores). So, the business decision is simple…why invest extended time and effort developing for a platform that provides less revenue than the other…That being said, as far as graphics are concerned, if we were to apply the growth pattern on PC’s where would we have been today? Very far and orgasmic visual experiences.   Gameplay and story – please explain to me what happened with Dragan Age 2, Mass Effect 2 (probably 3 too), Fear and COD (to name a few) being all console focused? ZERO improvement in all areas, not just graphics. When I think of RPG’s I think Planescape Torment, Baldur’s Gate 2, Icewind Dale, Diablo, Neverwinter Nights 1. What happend to the pure bliss of ownage in Quake 3 and UT? I love consoles too, but the devs or rather the publishers should allow the devs to completely leverage the tech on all platforms – for the batter of the art form we all love…GAMES

          • I don’t think you can blame consoles for the sole problem of developers dropping the ball. Dragon Age 2 was a rushed game for the pure point of making more money, regardless of what system it was on. I had issues with Mass Effect 2, but still felt it quite the awesome game with superb character development and a great sense of realized world. Again, with Fear and CoD, it’s not the fact that they do well on consoles that makes then stale, it’s the fact that developers are selling millions upon millions of copies of them – so why change a formula that works? If a game had been in a position of doing extremely way (like CoD) and was only available for the PC you’d see the exact same progression of tiny visual updates and not solid change to anything else. Just because a game franchise in on the PC doesn’t mean developers aren’t money hungry pigs.

            Now, with mentioned Baldur’s Gate and Unreal Tournament – examples of oldskool games – you’re touching more on nostalgia and the love you have for that era of gaming. Games, like the current state of CoD was Infinity Ward’s way of saying “Hey, we want something more that straight up simple death match” and thus the ideas popularized in CoD that people love so much right now have taken off and is now the “standard for multiplayer” much like the way fast paced (somewhat chaotic) simple deathmatch (or CTF or other oldskool multiplayer method) was dominate in the days of UT and Q3.

            I am in no way defending CoD or w/e franchise is huge atm, but it stands that change is something a franchise like that doesn’t withstand all to often. Developers hit a groove that gamers pick up on and they want to stick with that for financial reasons. Gamers are very finicky and get all up in arms about change, even though they keep asking for it.

            From what you wrote in your response, I feel that you’re not appreciative of this “change” and prefer the older style of gaming; a world where RPG meant rather in depth skill trees and strategic game play and when FPS meant jumping around like mad, trying to get rockets in front of enemies as to catch them off guard. Then you seem to use “consoles” as a scape goat for those issues. In reality, it’s developers and the all might dollar.

          • I don’t think you can blame consoles for the sole problem of developers dropping the ball. Dragon Age 2 was a rushed game for the pure point of making more money, regardless of what system it was on. I had issues with Mass Effect 2, but still felt it quite the awesome game with superb character development and a great sense of realized world. Again, with Fear and CoD, it’s not the fact that they do well on consoles that makes then stale, it’s the fact that developers are selling millions upon millions of copies of them – so why change a formula that works? If a game had been in a position of doing extremely way (like CoD) and was only available for the PC you’d see the exact same progression of tiny visual updates and not solid change to anything else. Just because a game franchise in on the PC doesn’t mean developers aren’t money hungry pigs.

            Now, with mentioned Baldur’s Gate and Unreal Tournament – examples of oldskool games – you’re touching more on nostalgia and the love you have for that era of gaming. Games, like the current state of CoD was Infinity Ward’s way of saying “Hey, we want something more that straight up simple death match” and thus the ideas popularized in CoD that people love so much right now have taken off and is now the “standard for multiplayer” much like the way fast paced (somewhat chaotic) simple deathmatch (or CTF or other oldskool multiplayer method) was dominate in the days of UT and Q3.

            I am in no way defending CoD or w/e franchise is huge atm, but it stands that change is something a franchise like that doesn’t withstand all to often. Developers hit a groove that gamers pick up on and they want to stick with that for financial reasons. Gamers are very finicky and get all up in arms about change, even though they keep asking for it.

            From what you wrote in your response, I feel that you’re not appreciative of this “change” and prefer the older style of gaming; a world where RPG meant rather in depth skill trees and strategic game play and when FPS meant jumping around like mad, trying to get rockets in front of enemies as to catch them off guard. Then you seem to use “consoles” as a scape goat for those issues. In reality, it’s developers and the all might dollar.

          • I accept your comments and they are spot on. I try not to troll and rage about my reservations about the game genres I like. I still believe that game play, graphics, story, sound, replayability and depth are variably driven by business benefit rather than creative and competitive development. Just my opinion…

          • Wow, this is rare that such discussions don’t turn into a blood bath of rage :P Thanks :) Building on your closing statement, which I mostly agree with; I feel like it’s more of a “publisher” (or other overlooking power) whom is pushing these devs into fights of competition and hoping to direct them towards something they believe will make money. Developers on the other hand are more about creativity and producing a product out of the sheer love of working on said product… and of course there’s exception’s to the rule, but I guarantee you, people like Miyamoto, Kojima and Levine tend to think about the game they’re crafting, over the of financial gain.

            I’ve also, too often, run into stupid arguments over old games holding their ground in the world today (which again goes to show that graphics aren’t everything, as long as your core gameplay is spot on) and I’m glad this conversation didn’t go that route :P

            lol, I’ve also re-read some of my responses (yours too) and noticed a lot of random typeOs on my part :P lol, hope it wasn’t too confusing :P

          • I leave the raging, flaming, etc. to immature people. I prefer a decent conversation. What value does raging, trolling and flaming add to anyone’s life? Good debate :-) cheers

          • Wow, 1st time i have ever read a reasonable, interesting debate on any gaming site ever, without it descending into childish namecalling *applause*

      • Ehh… I wouldn’t compare Beiber to consoles :S

        That aside, I think  ‘PC Elitists’ care too much for graphical prowess. It’s not larger textures, more sophisticated anti-aliasing and volumetric particle effects that make a game great, rather, it’s the experience and the world you get sucked into that makes a game memorable. There is no loss of “depth of experience” or value just because a version of a game has lower specs than it’s counterpart on another system.

        When was the last time you played a title on PC that looked leaps and bounds ahead of the rest yet had ‘ho-hum’ features in the realm of story, gameplay etc and was remembered amongst gamers as something that was “ground breaking”? I’m willing to bet it’s a hard task. Back in 2007 people had their heads snapped back by the visuals of Crysis – and the title is remembered as such, but the game itself was actually rather good. Great controls, decent story, intense action etc all make it stand out. Had Crysis been a bad game, I guarantee it wouldn’t of been as well remembered.

    • You are right, from a business/money making point of view. BUT, what people are ranting about is the perceived drop in quality/depth of experience and value for money since the console explosion. It does not mean a game is top quality/ground breaking if it sells like crazy. If that was true, Justin Bieber would be a better musician than Mozart. Economic growth does not equal growth of the art form.

    • You are right, from a business/money making point of view. BUT, what people are ranting about is the perceived drop in quality/depth of experience and value for money since the console explosion. It does not mean a game is top quality/ground breaking if it sells like crazy. If that was true, Justin Bieber would be a better musician than Mozart. Economic growth does not equal growth of the art form.

  2. “haha everyone who says
    pc will out preform xbox or ps3 dont know what they talking about thease
    systems havent even been pushed to the limit of what they can do not
    even 10% of what there capeable of not one game out runs at 60 frames a
    sec and most dont even run at 30 but there capeable of over 200 so game
    makers need to catch up to what theas are capeable of befor we really
    see how pimped out a comp needs to be to out preform them not saying pc
    cant just saying in the future you gona need atleast a 2500$ comp”

    Fletches101 – an enthusiastic console gamer

  3. “haha everyone who says
    pc will out preform xbox or ps3 dont know what they talking about thease
    systems havent even been pushed to the limit of what they can do not
    even 10% of what there capeable of not one game out runs at 60 frames a
    sec and most dont even run at 30 but there capeable of over 200 so game
    makers need to catch up to what theas are capeable of befor we really
    see how pimped out a comp needs to be to out preform them not saying pc
    cant just saying in the future you gona need atleast a 2500$ comp”

    Fletches101 – an enthusiastic console gamer

    • Ummm. What? Your reply is all over the place. In terms of graphical capabilities, today’s modern (with decent specs) PC does out perform consoles. Does that make, instantly, for better games? No. Does it mean consoles can’t handle PC titles? No… but the fact remains that the PC, currently, can do more than a console can – in terms of pushing graphical niceties.

    • Ummm. What? Your reply is all over the place. In terms of graphical capabilities, today’s modern (with decent specs) PC does out perform consoles. Does that make, instantly, for better games? No. Does it mean consoles can’t handle PC titles? No… but the fact remains that the PC, currently, can do more than a console can – in terms of pushing graphical niceties.

    • Just as a clarification…there are about 8 games total on consoles that run at 60 frames per second…almost ALL games run at 30fps or 30fps interlaced and additionally there are about 5 games that truly run at 1080p and NONE of them are on 360…the 360’s native resolution is 576p and upscaled to 720p..now I have been running 1080p on my pc since like 2004, AND I have been running everything at anywhere from 60-120fps since 2003 which does in fact prove that pc outperforms consoles by at least double…having said that I don’t usually care if a pc dev goes on consoles as long as my pc experience gets saturated with sequels like dragon age 2 where they try to make a quick buck because they now have the console crowd to care for

  4. “haha everyone who says
    pc will out preform xbox or ps3 dont know what they talking about thease
    systems havent even been pushed to the limit of what they can do not
    even 10% of what there capeable of not one game out runs at 60 frames a
    sec and most dont even run at 30 but there capeable of over 200 so game
    makers need to catch up to what theas are capeable of befor we really
    see how pimped out a comp needs to be to out preform them not saying pc
    cant just saying in the future you gona need atleast a 2500$ comp”

    Fletches101 – an enthusiastic console gamer

  5. “….if RAGE can satisfy the hardcore PC gamers, it’ll be an easy sell on the consoles too.”I hope ID aren’t using this as gospel.  It’s highly likely that a game tailored to a PC experience will not be well received by the Console user, they’re 2 different gamer types who expect different things from their games.

  6. Isn’t it strange : Whenever there’s an old PC classic that’s about to get a multiplatform reboot/ a previously PC developer go console, everyone start to say those PC “elitists” live under a rock or being snobbish for not wanting that to happen. In contrast, whenever Sony or Microsoft announced an exclusive title for their respective  console, no on seem to do care.

    As if it’s wrong for the PC to hold on to it’s beloved classic but it’s right for consoles to have their own exclusives while tasting the console version of PC classics. If the consoles can have the joy of battling through Battlefield with their gamepad, I too would like to use my keyboard and mouse to explore the wilderness in Red Dead Redemption. The Unreal Engine 3 has saturated the multiplatforming world and yet I haven’t seen Gears of War 2 and 3 installed on my PC.

    I would have agreed to the notion of including more that one platform in development if weren’t for the fact that exclusives still segregrate gamers apart. Especially when it involves exclusives that can be played on the PC but denied at the very last minute. My prime target is Alan Wake and Heaven Rain. Both were made on all platforms but at the very last minutes (2-3 months before release) the PC version was canned. Yeah, those games didn’t ruin gaming but they sure did messed up a whole lot PC gamers who have been waiting for them during their development. Personally that debacle have made me mistrust Microsoft as the main  player in PC gaming and become hostile towards X Box. Kill two birds with one stone, way to go M’soft,

  7. Guess more than anything the scum comment caught my attention – as it no doubt was meant to.

    Quality hasn’t changed much in gaming and ID are perfectly capable of producing content for consoles that exceeds the depth and storyline of any of their previous titles constrained to the PC.
    As for modding – yeah it’s a fun hobby but that’s all it is.  Be as passionate as you like about it but don’t tell me it’s changed the industry. It never has, it’s just sandbox development.As far as pushing hardware boundaries – I’m far more impressed with the mileage developers have gotten out of the current generation XBox 360 hardware than I have been in the past with upgrading Radeon or NVidia cards every year just because development houses have been lazy fucks and can’t be bothered to optimise on for existing client hardware.Consoles have simply been maturing and now that they have the mass market focus game complexity and quality is likely to increase again. Check out the XBox live marketplace for independent game developers – far more being done there than was ever possible on the PC in the 90’s.

    • “Be as passionate as you like about it but don’t tell me it’s changed the industry.”

      uhmm…DOTA…HoN…LoL…DOTA 2: all coming from a Warcraft 3 MOD

  8. The main reason “PC elitist” Call console gamers “Scum” is because in term of machine power. Consoles are about 5 years behind PCs in the terms of processing power and the like. There have been a lot of games on the consoles that would of been received better if they had made a PC version of the game and not just a port. One such game I can think of would of been the Halo RTS. The Halo RTS was ok on the 360 honestly it kind of sucked, and if MS/Bungie would of put it on the PC it would of sold a hell of a lot more copies than it did.

    Also going with the above arguement, PC gamers have been playing on Dx9 for prolly around what 7 years now or close to it? People seem to forget that consoles wouldn’t of come as far as they have with out the PC industry to push the limits and keep it going(also the fact that most conoles are just cheap computers that can’t really be upgraded what so ever.) PC gamers just want out just do after all these long years, that is one of the main reasons BF3 has been getting the lime light from PC gamers. Dice literally threw Dx9 out the window for PC gamers and said suck it up, we are gonna push Dx10/11.

    Also look at MAG for PS3. If they had made a PC version of the game. Then woah it would be simply amazing and it could honestly compete with CoD/BF series of games. PC gamers would love to see 256 player matches on the battlefield. Hence why when Planetside 2 comes out it should be a received much better, than when Planetside 1 came out. PS1 was ahead of it time. Another game that would only do well on PCs is the Tribes series. Despite what people think or feel. PC games will always be the number 1 game to platform to play on. PC games have longer shelf life than consoles games simply do to the fact of mods. So there is also another arguement that can be made as to why PC games will always be the number platform to play games on. PC honestly just offers more bang for your buck 90% of the time.

    • Also forgot to throw in there games like Supreme Commander and such. Games that have high modability have more replay value. Every Console game I have ever bought I get bored of after I beat it because there is simply nothing else to do. There is no way to download mods or anything for console games.

  9. They lied about Rage, the game was not 100%. Made a mediocre game, with 7 years of dev.
    Disgrace to all of you id! will end up with Doom! all for money, not the consumer. 
    id tech 5 is a shame… after so many years with id tech 3 and 4 darkness, we get a bunch of low texture, and bad multiplayer!
    John Carmack and his Mafia looking only the money, not quality!Lucky have so many fanboys.

LEAVE A REPLY