Microsoft are buying Bethesda, or rather their parent company ZeniMax Media. Like a nesting doll, Bethesda themselves are the parents of yet other game studios that Microsoft will also own. What of, say, Id Software? One of Id’s co-founders John Carmack reckons that the Bethesda buyout is a good thing. He says that the new Microsoft ownership could allow him to “reengage” with his old work.
In a response to the news, Carmack says “I think Microsoft has been a good parent company for gaming IPs, and they don’t have a grudge against me, so maybe I will be able to re engage with some of my old titles.”
That “grudge” may be eons old in internet time but in human years it’s not been so long since Carmack and ZeniMax Media were tied up in a lawsuit over his work on Facebook-owned Oculus VR headsets. Back in 2013, Carmack left Id Software to join Oculus. The following year, ZeniMax accused Carmack of using “key technology” from his work with them in his new role at Oculus. ZeniMax sued Oculus. Oculus and Facebook facef ZeniMax in a trial. Carmack sued ZeniMax. Then, in 2018, Carmack and ZeniMax hugged it out. Legally, anyway. Whew, now you’re caught up.
The legal battles may be in the past, but it seems Carmack felt that a tense relationship remained. I can’t imagine why. The good news for Carmack is that his work from years back at Id will now be under the Microsoft umbrella. I can’t say if their relationship is chummy, but apparently they don’t glare at one another during holiday dinners so that’s likely an improvement.
As for which projects he could attempt to revisit, there’s always Doom and Quake of course but what about that other one I hear folks are so keen on?
It’s all just talk for now, of course, but I’m sure Carmack isn’t the only one who might be imagining his triumphant return to some old Id series.