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id: No Tech 5 Licensing

Eurogamer has word from id Software's Todd Hollenshead that they will not be licensing out the Tech 5 engine being used for RAGE to third parties. At one point the plan was to license the engine, but after id was acquired by Zenimax it was decided that the engine would be reserved for id's and Bethesda's internal development. "It's going to be used within ZeniMax, so we're not going to license it to external parties," Hollenshead told Eurogamer at QuakeCon 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."

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36. Re: id: No Tech 5 Licensing Aug 13, 2010, 09:13 Beamer
I said this months ago but no one believed me because I didn't have an interview to cite. Here you go =)

It's an obvious decision. Simply put, id can't compete. You guys keep talking about how it stands technologically, which is great and all. We all know that, so long as Carmack is at id, the tech will be towards the front of the pack.

But companies don't license for technology, especially not now that consoles rule the day and technology isn't moving further quickly.
Companies license for tools. They want something they can use easily, that they can learn easily, and that they can get up and running quickly. Why did UE3 destroy every other engine out there? Tools (plus it's a runaway train - it may cost more than competitors but everyone knows how to use it so you make that money back in the form of time.)

In the time since id dominated the market we've had companies pop up that are solely engine companies. We've had other companies shift resources from being the absolute best tech to being competitive tech with insanely easy tools. This isn't id's philosophy, nor is it something they have the people for.

Zenimax using it makes sense - this is undoubtedly a big reason why id was purchased. I had wondered if Zenimax would up their staff to add both tool developers and support staff, but it wasn't in the cards. Instead they're just using id as an internal pipeline. The difference between this and licensing is that id needs to help the parent company learn their tools, and the parent company needs to allocate id the resources necessary to keep this going. They can have dedicated trainers in-house.
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