id Software doesn't mind having a publisher paying the bills for its upcoming post-apocalyptic FPS.
Last year, id Software - the developer that all but created the FPS with Wolfenstein 3D and Doom - was acquired by Bethesda parent Zenimax. More than a few industry figures were unhappy by the loss of the "last great indie" studio, including Shamus Young on this very site and id co-founder John Romero.
id, though, doesn't mind being beholden to someone with deep pockets. Speaking with GI.biz, id's creative director Tim Willits said that the Zenimax buyout meant that Rage would ship as the game it should be - and that the publisher is very hands-off with its management. "What's really great about Bethesda and Zenimax is that they're like, 'you know what, you guys have been really successful. We don't want to mess that up. So you guys do exactly what you're doing.'"
"I can tell you that if we weren't part of the Zenimax family, we'd be trying to rush [Rage] out," said Willits. "So it's so nice being able to say, let's ship it next year, let's get the multiplayer awesome, let's get the game as great as we can make it. Without their support, I honestly think that Rage would not be as good as it's going to be."
It looks like id remembers the oft-said axion: A delayed game will eventually come out - even Duke Nukem Forever - but a bad game is bad forever. Or at least until it's patched.
The trouble comes when a studio can't afford to keep its employees working on a game any longer, and has to release a possibly-good game in a currently-bad state. If Zenimax's funding means that id can take the time to make Rage the game we want it to be, can anyone really blame the developer for liking the situation?