id sold to Zenimax [Update]

Wednesday, 24th June 2009 16:58 GMT By Patrick Garratt


Bethesda parent Zenimax has bought id Software.

Kotaku’s got an interview with John Carmack live.

“We’re really getting kind of tired competing with our own publishers in terms of how our titles will be featured,” Carmack said.

“And we’ve really gotten more IPs than we’ve been able to take advantage of. And working with other companies hasn’t been working out as spectacularly as it could. So the idea of actually becoming a publisher and merging Bethesda and ZeniMax on there [is ideal.] It would be hard to imagine a more complementary relationship.

“They are tripe A, top-of-the-line in what they do in the RPGs. And they have no overlap with all the things we do in the FPSes.”

The end-goal of the sale, said Carmack, is for id to handle its own IPs.

“We can build the pipeline and have a regular pipeline of releases.”

Hit the link. Now.

Update: Press release added. Below the drop.

ZeniMax Media Acquires id Software

Brings together two of world’s best game studios

Library of powerhouse franchises will include DOOM, Fallout, The Elder Scrolls,
QUAKE, Wolfenstein and RAGE

June 24, 2009 (Rockville, MD) – ZeniMax Media Inc., parent company of noted game publisher Bethesda Softworks, today announced it has completed the acquisition of legendary game studio, id Software, creators of world-renowned games such as DOOM, QUAKE, Wolfenstein, and its upcoming title, RAGE. The acquisition by ZeniMax Media joins together two of the finest, most respected videogame developers in the world, combining the first person shooter (FPS) expertise of id Software with acclaimed role playing game (RPG) developer Bethesda Game Studios – creators of the 2008 Game of the Year, Fallout 3, and the 2006 Game of the Year, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Bethesda Softworks will publish the titles of id Software other than upcoming releases previously committed to other publishers.

Founded in 1991, id Software established itself as an industry leader with some of the best-selling and most critically acclaimed video games of all time. id Software created the original first-person shooter, Wolfenstein 3D, and subsequently set new standards in the genre with the blockbuster releases of its DOOM and QUAKE titles. In addition, id Software developed cutting edge, proprietary technology with the id Tech engine which powers many notable FPS titles, and continues to make great advances in game technology under the direction of John Carmack, one of the country’s technology leaders and a member of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) Hall of Fame.

Todd Hollenshead, CEO of id Software, commented on the transaction: “This was a unique opportunity to team with a smart, sophisticated publisher like Bethesda Softworks where the interests of the studio and the publisher will be fully aligned in the development and marketing of our titles. In addition, we will now have financial and business resources to support the future growth of id Software, a huge advantage which will result in more and even better games for our fans.”

id Software will continue to operate as a studio under the direction of its founder, John Carmack. No changes will be made in the operations of id Software in the development of its games. All the principals at id Software have signed long-term employment contracts, assuring they will continue in their roles developing games at the studio.

“This puts id Software in a wonderful position going forward,” said John Carmack, who will continue to serve in his current role as Technical Director. “We will now be able to grow and extend all of our franchises under one roof, leveraging our capabilities across multiple teams while enabling forward looking research to be done in the service of all of them. We will be bigger and stronger, as we recruit the best talent to help us build the landmark games of the future. As trite as it may be for me to say that I am extremely pleased and excited about this deal, I am.”



  1. Zarckan

    That’s it then… End of an Era :(

    #1 6 years ago
  2. El_MUERkO

    ‘shiny graphics’ meet ‘gameplay’

    #2 6 years ago
  3. tenthousandgothsonacid

    Adrian Carmack will be happy at least :)

    Whatever happened with his court case ? Can’t find anything on the web about it apart from the initial press release…

    #3 6 years ago
  4. Quiiick

    ‘talent’ meets ‘money’

    #4 6 years ago
  5. Patrick Garratt

    Press release added.

    #5 6 years ago
  6. slayernl

    wow, well good for them, hopefully everybody will remain at ID for now.

    #6 6 years ago
  7. Hunam


    Also, where did Bethesda get all this money from? You don’t buy one of the (if not THE) most respected developers of all time for a cheap sum.

    I’m just happy as a pig in shit that Activision aren’t involved anymore. No doubt they’ll be trying to block this for some absurd reason.

    #7 6 years ago
  8. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    Looking forward to Rage and seeing what they do with Doom4.

    #8 6 years ago
  9. Michael O'Connor

    “Also, where did Bethesda get all this money from? You don’t buy one of the (if not THE) most respected developers of all time for a cheap sum.”

    Bethesda are not Zenimax.

    #9 6 years ago
  10. Hunam

    I have to say, if Bethesda bought Splash Damage and Obsidian now, they’d be some sort of super publisher of awesome.

    #10 6 years ago
  11. Hunam

    Actually, good point. Just always refer to zenimax et al as Bethesda.

    #11 6 years ago
  12. Michael O'Connor

    “Michael: Yeah, they pretty much are.”

    No, they pretty much aren’t.

    Bethesda is to Zenimax as Rockstar is to Take-Two Interactive.

    #12 6 years ago
  13. Hunam

    I changed it…

    Reading the Wiki though, Zenimax is basically a shell company made by Bethesda to expand as a business separate from development, so from that, they kinda are.

    #13 6 years ago
  14. Patrick Garratt

    Yeah, that’s right. It’s the parent.

    #14 6 years ago
  15. Hunam

    Just my point was that the parent company was set up by Bethesda instead of Zenimax buying Bethesda. Which is probably why I’ve always just assumed they are the same company.

    #15 6 years ago
  16. Patrick Garratt

    I didn’t know the origin of Zenimax, to be honest. Interesting.

    #16 6 years ago
  17. Hunam

    I didn’t know the specifics till I got on the googletron just now, but I’ve been following Bethesda games since ages and Zenimax did kind of just pop up one day, just thought they were a media arm of Bethesda or something and assumed it was all the same company, didn’t realise till just now how it all works and went down.

    #17 6 years ago
  18. Patrick Garratt

    Wow. This is sinking it. It really is the end of an era.

    #18 6 years ago
  19. Retroid

    “They are tripe A”

    Cheeky! :D

    #19 6 years ago
  20. Hunam

    Then again, I did read the word merge somewhere, which I suppose having a shell parent company helps with, because you don’t have to faff about setting up a company like Bioware/Pandemic did, Bethesda are Bethesda and id is still id, just under a banner of Zenimax. Though I’m not sure when Zenimax Online turned up, is that what sparked all the Elder Scrolls Online talk a few years ago?

    Heh, pat, you should totally ask Zenimax if they robbed Mark Jacobs, considering ZO is an hour and a half away down the road from Mythic and consist of founding members of mythic.


    #20 6 years ago
  21. frostquake

    And when it is all said and Done and the 3rd year of the cat of the Great Publisher Wars of Blood and Wire, there shall be Only One…WalMart Owner of the World and expanding to the Moon with its first ever 24/7 Lunar Market!! Greed, ain’t it a Hell of a thing??

    #21 6 years ago
  22. Blerk

    Holy shit!

    Bethesda are really on the rampage of late.

    #22 6 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.