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Monday, October 23, 2000
id Update on Licenses, Q3A 1.25
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

id Software's Todd Hollenshead has made an update to his .plan file recently, noting that the status of the Quake 3: Arena 1.25 patch and the company's take on licensing their game engine for use by third parties. Many 'Quakers' will be interested to know that the final version of the Q3A 1.25 patch won't be out for several more weeks. Todd also points to a new page at id's site discussing the licensing of their Quake 1, 2 and 3 game engines. Many companies have successfully used one (or many) of these engines to create a number of hit games. Their current pricing scheme seems to be Quake 1 for $10,000, Quake 2 for $125,000, and a Quake 3 for no less that $300,000 plus royalties.

The debate over whether a company like id or Epic should simply make 3D engines to license, or focus on making games themselves, is an interesting one.

3D Action Planet has spoken with Hollenshead about the new licensing plan. He discusses the number of Q3A licenses allowed, the possibility of selling the technology being developed for their upcoming Doom 3 title, and more. Here's a clip:

3DActionPlanet: Since Quake 2, id Software has been both praised and criticized by gamers who say that id is an engine developer more than a game developer. Can you compare how lucrative engine licensing is compared to id's game sales?

Todd Hollenshead: Engine licensing is something we do because it makes sense to do it. It's certainly financially significant to us, but it's a long way behind game development.

I doubt technology licensing will ever be the primary goal of id for a number of reasons. First of all, we all love game development (and we're pretty damn good at it, too). Secondly, so-called "middleware" providers have historically been unsuccessful. Developing game technology without the imposed discipline of having to make a game actually run on it has been the Achilles heel of companies that only write engines, but don't have to actually use them.

For companies that have the artistic talent, but don't want to spend the time writing such a complex beast as a 3D engine, licensing is a definite benefit. Gamers also enjoy the spoils, as titles such as Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2, Sin and Elite Force are set arrive on our platform very soon thanks to their being based upon portable engines.

3D Action Planet Interview with Hollenshead
id Licensing Page
Todd Hollenshead .plan Update

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• id Update on Licenses, Q3A 1.256:00 AM
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