id Software goes mobile

— 12:04 PM on November 15, 2007

Programming guru and id Software Technical Director John Carmack has made no secret of his attraction to making cell phone games over the past few years. Following the release of titles like Orcs & Elves and Doom RPG, Carmack's interest has bloomed into a full id Software division dubbed id Mobile.

As GameDaily reports, id Mobile is a joint effort by id Software and Fountainhead Entertainment, who already collaborated on the aforementioned games. The division will be headed by Fountainhead founder and former id Business Development Director Katherine Anna Kang, and it will produce games for both cell phones and hand-held consoles like the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP. In fact, id Mobile is already at work on two games: a mobile version of the classic Wolfenstein and a sequel to Doom RPG.

Carmack himself seems enthusiastic about id Mobile's prospects. He told GameDaily, "Worldwide, mobile gaming has the potential to eclipse conventional gaming platforms." He went on to say, "The resource constraints of mobile platforms reward technical and design virtuosity, making it a place where we can leverage the historic strengths of our company." Last year in an interview with Newsweek, Carmack remarked:

My wife got me a new cell phone a year and a half ago, and it had some little Java games on it. When I played through them, I was almost morally indignant that someone would make these really awful games on this platform. Because I was looking at this and thinking, "There's more power in this handset than all of the early [personal-computer] games that we made back in the Commander Keen days. Why do these games suck so bad?"

GameDaily quotes id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead as echoing Carmack's views: "While mobile gaming has enormous potential, it continues to suffer from a lack of emphasis on quality entertainment, innovation and fun factor." With id Mobile, the firm will "shake up the emerging mobile gaming space," according to Kang.

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