Once upon a time there was a little company called id Software. They made PC games, for PC gamers. They knew their fans, and their fans knew them.
However, times have changed.
With their newest IP, RAGE, id is opening themselves up to a very different ‘fanscape’ by releasing the game simultaneously on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
That being said, during the 20 Years of id panel at Quake Con last month, I stood up and jokingly asked various id ‘legends’ what they thought of the, “Console scum that are ruining hardcore gaming!”
The crowd (made up of roughly 99% PC gamers) cheered and laughed (as did the guys on stage) but all kidding aside, the guys on stage knew the pitfalls of abandoning your hardcore fanbase all too well – and a lengthy discussion followed.
id technical director and resident rocket scientist, John Carmack notably remarked:
You would not be able to have the games that are developed today without the broader reach of the console market.
So, the next day I caught up with one of the panelists, id’s CEO Todd Hollenshead, to ask what he really does think of the, “console scum” and what it’s like for id looking toward the future as a true multiplatform developer:
As you can tell, while Todd and the guys are looking toward their future as a multiplatform developer with promise, they clearly have not forgotten who their hardcore fans are. Sure, if RAGE was purely a PC game, they would have done some things differently, but rest assured, RAGE on PC is a vastly different experience. Hell, if the BYOC at Quake Con 2011 was any indication, id fans aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
The company wants to make sure they’re not just appealing to their hardcore PC audience, but their new console audience as well. As Todd says, if RAGE can satisfy the hardcore PC gamers, it’ll be an easy sell on the consoles too.
Is it daunting when you’re about to release your first new IP in over a decade to a completely new audience? Of course it is! But if anyone can do it, id can. Especially with the Bethesda marketing machine behind them 100%.
Stay tuned to RipTen for continued coverage of RAGE and all things id Software.