Just six months after opening Quake Live to the public, id Software is reconsidering its business plan. According to Shacknews, company founder and technical guru John Carmack revealed during his QuakeCon keynote that subscriber features may soon make their way into the game.
Carmack stated bluntly, "The in-game advertising stuff has not been big business. . . . That's not going to be able to carry the project." Shacknews says id is considering letting players set up and run their own private servers for a fee. That said, Carmack promised the title "will never go entirely pay-to-play."
For the unacquainted, Quake Live is essentially a tweaked version of Quake III Arena playable online via a web browser plug-in. id has added community features as well as a skill-matching system, and hopping on is as simple as signing up on the official site, downloading the plug-in, and hitting "Play now."
id's hurdles may validate the approach of DICE, whose casual, class-based shooter Battlefield Heroes opened in June. While you can play Battlefield Heroes for free, the game encourages you to exchange real currency for bonuses, weapons, and other special items. IGN recently wrote that players who use the in-game store spend an average of $20 each.