Don’t expect id Tech 5 to be next big thing in middleware, as id says it’s keeping that particular toy to itself.
Speaking at QuakeCon in Dallas today, id boss Todd Hollenshead said that the engine powering Rage and Doom 4, id Tech 5, would not be licensed out as middleware, but would instead be kept within the ZeniMax family, which id became a part of last year.
Hollenshead referred to the engine as a “competitive advantage” and that in order for a third party to gain access to it, it would have to be making a game published by Bethesda. “It’s going to be used within ZeniMax, so we’re not going to license it to external parties, “he said. “If you’re going to make a game with id Tech 5 then it needs to be published by Bethesda, which I think is a fair thing.”
When asked about whether he wished that id could have had the same success as Epic has had with engine licensing, Hollenshead praised the Gears of War developer for its success, but said that id’s goals had always been different. “[W]e never pretended to be focused on technology licensing,” he said. “[T]he philosophy was that with the one team the technology was wasted if you’re just using it on one game, so we wanted to be able to license it out to a small number of developers … Epic’s made a good business out of that so kudos to them, but I wouldn’t change the way we’ve done things.”
What’s exciting about the id Tech 5 engine is that it’s designed to accommodate large open worlds, which would seem to make it a fantastic fit for a lot of Bethesda games. It’s not hard to watch the Rage trailer and picure how good it could make the next Fallout or Elder Scrolls look.