Layoffs strike id Software

Bethesda Softworks rep confirms redundancies at Texas developer, says future projects continue "unabated."

The new year has arrived alongside some bad news for some at Texas-based studio id Software. A representative from parent company Bethesda Softworks confirmed with GameSpot today that the studio recently enacted a round of layoffs.

Pink slips have hit Rage's dark world.

"As part of its standard business practice, id regularly evaluates staffing to ensure it has a workforce that meets the needs of the studio," read a line from the statement provided to GameSpot. "As part of that process, some id employees were recently let go. id is still recruiting and hiring qualified developers, and development work on future id titles continues unabated."

The last release from id Software was Rage, a first-person shooter that was released in October and won generally favorable marks with reviewers. That game went on to become October's fourth best-selling title in a month that saw the release of high-profile games like Battlefield 3, Forza Motorsport 4, and Batman: Arkham City.

Currently, the developer is working on Doom 4, which id Software denied as being "indefinitely postponed," as an October rumor suggested.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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61 comments
maxwell97
maxwell97

@billlabowski: I said f3 runs better on x360 than it does on ps3. I said nothing about how it runs on pc (which is obviously better, as you point out). And how am I a fanboy? I love pc gaming, it's my favorite platform, but I play consoles too. My point is that there's a lot more money being made selling console games than pc games, so that's where the development money is going.

billlabowski
billlabowski

@maxwell97 I can tell I'm talking to a fanboy and not a realist. And now VGC does not include Steam now because Steam will not give up that information. And where do you get the info that Fallout runs better on consoles than PC??? Last time I checked I can play Fallout on Ultra, 80 fps. Consoles being Low 30 fps. Just sayin.

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

They really need revaluation after playing Rage, some parts they nailed it like the direction and art, but in terms of content it felt...empty.

maxwell97
maxwell97

@billlabowski: I think VGChartz includes Steam now? Anyway, you make a fair point, but it's still not quite that simple. Even looking at consoles, there are games that perform better on x360 than ps3 (like Fallout) and vice versa (Dark Souls). The primary development platform will always have an edge. That being the case, it makes no sense for the primary platform to ever be PC, because there's just not enough of a (paying) user base.

billlabowski
billlabowski

@maxwell97 It's way higher than that bud, especially when Steam is concerned. You have to look at it this way, if they took the time to make the game shine on PC and then took the time to make it shine on consoles, neither platform would be better or worse. You'd have two games on 3 platforms that performed flawlessly. If you're going to make a multiplat game than at least have the self respect to make them all work. Remember how good Half Life 2 was on all systems?

Richmaester6907
Richmaester6907

Well since rage seemed to be nothing more than borderlands with better visuals I am not sure whether I could care less about their products.

Infinity_Gauntl
Infinity_Gauntl

GREAT!! Being that they are one of the huge proponet of the blocking out content to used game sales and cloud gameing (where they really rent games to you b/c all they sell you is air). I used to really like id but they had this comming and I hope that they get rid of some of the higher ups at id not just the low level developers. but as with any buisness if somthing goes bad they blame from the bottom up..

beefalo
beefalo

ID hasn't made a decent game in years...convert them into a middleware company and move on

s4dn3s5
s4dn3s5

@billlabowski man, you are so right. The game is still not 100% fixed on PC, you just have to choose between pop-in and texture streaming. Either way, the cache will be filled in less than 1 hour and the game will look like crap. Also, the texture are very low res and this is not going to be fixed. I can't believe this game comes from the guys who gave us Quake, Quake3 and Doom3, the best looking games of their period.

s4dn3s5
s4dn3s5

The PC version of RAGE was a POS. iD's Tech5 is a POS. The fact that Doom4 is going to be based on that crappy engine is a nuclear disaster.

auntbessie
auntbessie

Rage was probably my favourite game of 2011, I was gutted when I got to the end, the only thing that spoilt the experience slightly was the just above average graphics on the PC version which wasn't what I was expecting as they'd spent so long banging on about the IdTech5 engine that I anticipated a real game changer from the visual side and ended up with something a bit mediocre. Still an awesome game though, keep hoping they'll release a single player expansion so I can go beserk with my wingsticks again, stupid muties.

ezjohny
ezjohny

Rage got the best AI award at the "20 11 Video Game Awards", BF3 got the graphic award! The res got to be a reason for lay off 's. I hate to see that happen tho! Has far as consoles go they are way behind in hardware now! LGA 20 11 Socket, X79 Express Chip set and the processors are on the market now! We are still going to get console play for mul ti-Platform games for the ones that have this set up!

ConstantinNC
ConstantinNC

I completely agree with Richardthe3rd, same here, I like ID, I bought my new hardware to play Rage, but something about Rage didnt attract me, it was somehow bellow of what I expected from ID, especially for a game with such a long development period. About people let go, I hate that, but sure there is a good reason for it.

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

I'm usually a huge id fan, but something about this game just didn't reach out and grab me. I'm not sure what it was. Here's hoping they can do better with Doom 4.

maxwell97
maxwell97

@NoodleFighter: it's an approximation, but you can take a look at vgchartz.com for current numbers.

jamyskis
jamyskis

Bethesda has its priorities all wrong. To paraphrase their statement: "We regularly look at ways to get rid of people at id because we have absolutely no respect for their families and difficulties in these difficult economic times, but don't worry kids - you'll still get to play Doom 4."

Manic_NL
Manic_NL

Please release a Rage DLC-pack first please for us to play and see a decent ending of this really good game.

NoodleFighter
NoodleFighter

Is it just me or is it that all the big PC developers that tried screwing over PC gamers in favor of consoles sales getting hit hard? It already happened to Crytek. @maxwell97 where did you get your info that PC games sales are only 5 percent and consoles are 10x

Zephol
Zephol

i want Doom 4 id software. Show me in the E3 2012.

Zephol
Zephol

Rage has a bad sales. It has only sold 1.5 million. There is little to be a multiplatform title. The problem was the PC version. That ruined the game. Did not meet expectations. It was one of the best games of the year nor the worst. But it is simply "forgotten".

maxwell97
maxwell97

@billabowski: not that I like 'consolidation,' but we should be realistic - PC games are about 5% of the video game market. If consoles represent 10 times the potential sales of PC, they're going to focus on consoles, and I can't say I blame them.

Stonecutters908
Stonecutters908

I hate to see people lose their jobs but this has become the nature of the business. Some developers sign up for 2-3 year projects and expect to move on unless the game catches fire and sequels are requested from publishers. In Rage's case, I can see why they didn't request a sequel. For me, it was one of my disappointments of the 2011. It had wonderful visuals but an almost non-existent narrative and a unoriginal art style and a lacking multiplayer element. ID software really needs help in these areas. They still think it is all about graphics. When John Carmack talks about his games it is almost as if nothing else matters but the graphics and it showed in Rage.

bleat
bleat

They just release a huge game, my bet is they were overstaffed. I think it's somewhat typical to have some reduction after a large title ships. It's probably part reduction from Rage crunch years and part sifting down to the top talent to keep the overall organization strong.

m30w_cP
m30w_cP

whew...sooo glad doom4 is still in dev., it really wouldn't make sense not to make a game that has a history of selling well just because your new IP didn't do as well as you thought it would.

Link3301
Link3301

Rage lead to this layoff rage?

bogorad
bogorad

well it says that they are hiring better ones so

diskserious
diskserious

What a shame. Rage was my favorite game of 2011. I am hoping it sold enough to bring about a sequel. I would love to see them develope it into a series.

JoSilver
JoSilver

@Vodoo Well if you read the article you'd know that it clearly says that id regularly does this to keep their work force strong.

JoSilver
JoSilver

Well, good news if you're looking for a job at id.

mwmars
mwmars

playing near the end of Rage right now, and I assure you, it's at least worth the $20 price point that it's at right now... good game.

Vodoo
Vodoo

I bet they let these people go because of the poor reception to Rage. Yeah, it was an ok selling title the first month but that soon fizzled out completely. Gamers that played it, myself included, were very vocal about their dissappointment with how the game played.... ex: that nothing in the enviornment was movable or destructable. Running in to a milk carton gave the same effect as running into a brick wall. They've been relying on the Doom-esque looking graphics and enviornments for way too long now. Time to switch things up a bit.

nanorazor
nanorazor

@AnakinSW Bathesda doesn't own id Software there both separate game studio that ZeniMax owns. Bathesda is the publisher and id is the developer of Rage.

AnakinSW
AnakinSW

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Draken_Domingo
Draken_Domingo

@servb0ts They're talking about id bro, Bethesda is only the publisher for id.

AnakinSW
AnakinSW

@Jd1680a I think the obvious answer is because the people getting laid off don't have the skillsets matching those they are wanting to bring on board. It's not an easy 'move' if they don't know what they need to...

servb0ts
servb0ts

Bethseda has bad blitches in their game, with bad layoffs to boot.

pizzatracker
pizzatracker

Every game publish by Bethesda have been full of glitches and unplayable most of the time.

AnakinSW
AnakinSW

I really, REALLY wanted Rage to be...well.... all the RAGE! I was really hoping for so much with that game but after 6 hours it got uninstalled to probably never appear again. The shooter part of the game was tight and well done but the implementation of the racing just felt too added on even though we knew about it from the get go. Oh well, I hope id comes back with a vengeance the next go round.

Jd1680a
Jd1680a

How could they be laying off people when they are hiring for future developments? Why not shift current employees to other projects?

toddx77
toddx77

@billlabowski Thank you. Most console gamers are just going to go to COD and Halo since thats what they know. Its one thing to make your game multp plat to get more sales but its another thing to consolize your game and say screw you to the PC audience who made you. I hope id now realizes Doom 4 needs to be made for PC first and don't let bethestas "its too hard to make pc games" affect them.

HaloPimp978
HaloPimp978

That's too bad they got layed off. Hope they find jobs soon.

XboxGuy1537
XboxGuy1537

RAGE was a great game, besides the slow sections where you had to talk to people. They should have had the option to skip dialogue and they should've made the dialogue system more like Fallout or Oblivion where you choose what you want to say. As for Doom 4, I hope that comes out soon....

DarthJohnova
DarthJohnova

@a_ndy Well 81 on Metacritic would suggest it received 'generally favourable' reviews.

scorchingitup
scorchingitup

That's a shame RAGE was good, however didn't quite know what it was itself. I haven't finished it but you get this feeling basically straight away. But with them making Doom 4 i'm pre sure ID can make the comeback they wanted

gamingfrendly
gamingfrendly

rage had so many problems that made me rage this is not a joke and after all the hassle it was so liner i didnt have a reason to keep it installed maybe next time Id will tray harder

nastyhotpocket
nastyhotpocket

do any of you little idiots think those id employes give a sht...about you or if you lose your job...your all fkn stupid

a_ndy
a_ndy

I don't recall Rage winning "generally favorable" reviews. Crazy hindsight. Let's be honest, isn't that the reason for these layoffs in the first place?

RossRichard
RossRichard

id is still trying to ride on the success they had in the early 90s. It is no surprise to me that they are having financial issues.

VlVlsectVl
VlVlsectVl

@Barighm Only if a contract is involved, and no one in their right mind would sign a contract like that without a severance package.