At its 2008 Electronic Entertainment Expo press conference show-stopper, EA announced that it had acquired the rights to publish id Software's postapocalyptic action game Rage through its EA Partners program. However, this June, that deal got a bit fuzzy when the parent company of Fallout 3 publisher Bethesda Softworks--Zenimax Media--bought id, along with its properties, such as Doom, Quake, and Rage, after raising $105 million in funding.
After Zenimax announced the acquisition, EA said that it had retained the rights to publish Rage, which has not yet been dated for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, and Mac. However, that changed today, as Zenimax announced that Rage will now be published by its subsidiary Bethesda Softworks.
Zenimax explicitly noted that EA will no longer be involved in any way with the game's sale or marketing. Bethesda's parent company further stated that Rage's development will not be affected by the change in publisher.
"In keeping with EA’s initiative to focus on fewer hits, we have ended our publishing agreement with ZeniMax," EA said in a statement provided to GameSpot. "We wish the very best outcome for the id team on what we believe will be an extraordinary game."
Last month, EA canceled more than a dozen games as part of its shift to "focus on titles with higher [profit] margin opportunities." The move was accompanied by a headcount reduction of 1,500, or roughly 17 percent of the publisher's workforce.
Rage is set on a postapocalyptic Earth in the midst of recovering from an asteroid collision. Players assume the role of a survivor who was stashed away inside an ark prior to the asteroid hit and has been subsequently outfitted with an array of performance-enhancing nanotechnology. More than just a first-person shooter, the game also has a heavy racing combat element.
Check out GameSpot's first look at Rage's shooting, driving, and story for more information.