In June, id Software surprised everyone by announcing it had agreed to be purchased by Bethesda Softworks's parent firm, ZeniMax Media. id's John Carmack made it sound like a match made in heaven, pointing out that id and Bethesda didn't have any areas of overlap in their portfolios, and the acquisition would allow id to grow and produce more games.
The two companies agreed Bethesda would publish id titles "other than upcoming releases previously committed to other publishers"—an exception that must have referred to Rage, to which EA had publishing rights. According to Shacknews, however, new agreements have been signed behind the scenes, and Bethesda will now be publishing Rage.
Shacknews says EA will no longer market the title, but development of the post-apocalyptic shooter is "unaffected by this development." Shacknews says Bethesda and id are mute about the release schedule, too. We really haven't heard a whole lot about Rage since id released that HD trailer in August.
As Carmack pointed out after the buyout announcement earlier this year, companies like EA effectively force id to compete for resources and attention with the publisher's own studios. He explained, "If we had gone to one of those companies, we would be one more studio. We would be a prized studio. But we wouldn't even be their only shooter studio. We would be competing for resources with our brother and sister studios. There is no question if they have Call of Duty project, there would be some degree of conflict there."
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