id Software goes Mobile

John Carmack's venerable studio forms new gaming division for portable platforms; ports of original Quake, Wolfenstein, and Doom RPG sequel announced.

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With Doom, id Software chief John Carmack created groundbreaking technology that reinvented the way games look and play on the PC. In 2005, the tech-savvy programmer accomplished a similar feat for the mobile platform with Doom RPG, a role-playing take on the classic first-person shooter franchise that was codeveloped by Fountainhead Entertainment. Carmack and Fountainhead followed up that success with the equally well-received Orcs & Elves in 2006. Orcs and Elves for the Nintendo DS went on sale this week.

On the heels of that release, id and Carmack are diving headfirst into mobile gaming with the formation of a new division devoted exclusively to developing for mobile and handheld platforms, reports USA Today. id Mobile will be headed up by Katherine Anna Kang, founder of Fountainhead Entertainment and former director of business development at id Software.

"The whole reason we are in the mobile arena now is I was just really appalled at how bad [cell phone games] were," said Carmack of the new mobile division. "We're already making profit on 2 million units of games [sold], but we are kind of holding out this hope there might be a breakout moment when the industry gets five to 10 times larger."

In addition to mobile ports of the original Quake and Wolfenstein 3D, id Mobile's first projects include a sequel to Doom RPG. During this year's E3 Media & Business Summit, id also revealed that it was developing Orcs and Elves II, which continues the storyline of the original game and adds in seven new environments to the fantasy world. USA Today reports that Orcs and Elves II will be available for mobile phones in December, and will be published by EA Mobile.

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