New id engine will only be licensed under Bethesda umbrella

id Software has a long history of licensing its game engines to third-party developers. According to CEO Todd Hollenshead, however, that practice will change with the company's latest id Tech 5 engine. Eurogamer has the scoop:

"It's going to be used within ZeniMax, so we're not going to license it to external parties," Hollenshead told Eurogamer at QuakeCon 2010 in Dallas today.

"It's like, look, this is a competitive advantage and we want to keep it within games we publish - not necessarily exclusively to id or id titles, but if you're going to make a game with id Tech 5 then it needs to be published by Bethesda, which I think is a fair thing."

Hollenshead goes on to say that id was never really focused on licensing. The company reportedly felt that its technology would be wasted if it was only used by one game, and for a long time, id was working on just one title at a time. Since being acquired by ZeniMax, which owns Bethesda, id has ballooned to three teams. I suspect Bethesda and other ZeniMax properties will employ id Tech 5 for their own games, as well, especially considering that the engine is now up and running on the iPhone.

It's unclear whether the decision to keep id Tech 5 in the family will affect the release of the Doom 3 source code, which graphics programming deity John Carmack promised to make available after Rage starts shipping. Since Doom 3 was developed before the ZeniMax acquisition, it probably won't be affected by id's latest shift in licensing strategy. Carmack has long been a proponent of releasing his game code to the public, and it's been more than six years since Doom 3's initial release.

Speaking of Doom, Shacknews reports that the latest chapter in the franchise won't be shown at this year's QuakeCon event as originally planned. Eager gamers will get a better glimpse at Rage later today, though. id's entry in the increasingly popular post-apocalyptic shooter sweepstakes will be showcased at 3PM Central.

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