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Videogame Maker Id Software Rejected Offer From Activision (thanks Bob Woodward) is a subscription-only article from the Wall Street Journal based on a lawsuit filed by id software co-owner Adrian Carmack revealing that the artist and id Software cofounder was recently fired (maybe I'm just the last to learn this, as his "retirement" is mentioned in his Wikipedia Bio). Also revealed in the court filings is that Activision offered id $90 Million last year for the DOOM, Quake, and Wolfenstein properties and was considering making an offer of $105 million for the entire company. The article explains why this information would come to light in court: "Adrian Carmack claims the decision not to sell the company was part of an effort to force him to sell his shares back at a fraction of what he would have made in a sale to Activision. Under terms of a contract he has asked the court to void, Mr. Carmack would have to sell his 41% stake in the company for $11 million, below the $40 million he might have reaped from Activision." It is not clear how Adrian Carmack ended up 41% owner of the privately held company: He was one of its original founders along with John Carmack (no relation), Kevin Cloud, and John Romero, but since then Romero parted ways and Todd Hollenshead and Tim Willits were granted ownership stakes early last year (story). The article's conclusion sums up the legal action: "In a filing earlier this month, he claims the other owners fired him after he refused an offer to be bought out for $20 million. The Activision offer was revealed by a filing by Mr. Carmack seeking to have his employment contract declared invalid. He contends Id's other owners rejected the Activision offer so they could acquire his shares as a price below what they might later fetch." The article reports both id and Activision as either unwilling or unable to respond.
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