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Tuesday, August 25, 2009
 
Todd Hollenshead Discusses All Things id
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Videogaming247 has published a new interview with id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead about the company's current and future projects. The Q&A touches on a variety of topics including the upcoming RAGE racing shooter, Quake Live's planned premium content, and the company's recent purchase by Zenimax.

Back to Rage - will there be any sort of demo or open beta before the game releases?
Todd: Hollenshead: I doubt there will be an open beta.
The demo question is hard to answer, because I donít know what the development cycle will be like. We donít have anything against demos or tests; we typically do that Ė probably Ė to a greater extent than almost anybody else in the industry, so my guess would be that we will have something, but thatís far from set in stone. I mean, there could be different things on different platforms. There could be something thatís more along the lines of a PC demo or maybe a Mac demo that comes out from a test perspective. But really, at this point, thatís speculation.

Speaking of Quake Live, John Carmack announced that the gameís next big upgrade will be the addition of a premium subscription option. In general, do you think thereís a future for games that are purely ad-supported and free-to-play, or do you think subscription models and/or microtransactions are required?
Todd: Hollenshead: I think the jury is out on that, to be honest. In my opinion, Quake Live is a litmus test, because itís a quality game; I love it Ė I know the perception of it in public is that itís an excellent game. We donít like the idea of putting in microtransactions that impact gameplay balance. Because that is antithetical to what Quake Live is about, which is that itís a [skill-based] game. We donít like to have an ďIím willing to spend the most money, therefore I winĒ kind of thing thatíll get me the best weapon and thatíll get me an advantage thatís unfair. We want the Quake 3 kind of thing where itís the player with the most skill that wins the match.
Really though, since we first started talking about the game, but especially recently, [pertaining to] the premium level of services that weíre talking about, the subscription isnít really a subscription to get aspects of the core game that you wouldnít otherwise get for free. Itís more to get things that are service or feature-oriented. The specific thing is server rental and being able to start playing whatever map you want to and kick whoever you want to off the server or whatever. But those things arenít gonna count for leaderboards or stats or things like that. Thatís just like planned server rentals or tournament server rentals Ė those sorts of things.
And, because of the way we have the infrastructure set up, those sorts of things can be dynamically brought up and taken offline. Itís actually more efficient for us to do that in the way we have Quake Live running than it is for people to go to the server rental farms and pay $20 a month Ė or I heard that some of them are as much as $30 or $50 per month depending on where you are. So we think we can do that far more cost effectively, and actually add a higher level of service because itís completely dynamic. Itís an incremental cost for us that weíve got to charge for, but we think we can deliver value there that exceeds what people are required to pay.
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VG247: Todd Hollenshead Interview
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Archives  News  Todd Hollenshead Discusses All Things id