id Software Lawsuit - Adrian Carmack Fired

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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112 Replies. 6 pages. Viewing page 1.
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112.
 
Re: Damn
Oct 4, 2005, 15:29
Re: Damn Oct 4, 2005, 15:29
Oct 4, 2005, 15:29
 
Does this also cut him out of royalties from the Doom Movie?

:ROFLZZ::

111.
 
Re: We don't need no stinking degrees
Oct 4, 2005, 00:09
Re: We don't need no stinking degrees Oct 4, 2005, 00:09
Oct 4, 2005, 00:09
 
Didn't they fire someone just before they started on Doom3?? What's with all these lawsuits. They should all get along fine they have bazillions of dollars. Now they've fired someone just before Quake 4 releases.

And since Doom 3 was such an amazing and spectacular game, I've already pre-ordered the hell out of the Quake 4 special edition. In fact I might pickup a second copy of Doom 3 when I go to pickup Quake 4. Just for the nostalgia or whatever.

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.

-Albert Einstein
110.
 
Re: We don't need no stinking degrees
Oct 3, 2005, 21:37
Re: We don't need no stinking degrees Oct 3, 2005, 21:37
Oct 3, 2005, 21:37
 
Well Q4 just went gold, and after my experience with D3, all I can say is "No demo, no buy"

You cannot make anything fool-proof. The fools are too inventive

GW: Tr Gandhi (Ra/Ele lvl 20), Shiva Sung (Mo/Me lvl 20), Mangal Pandey (Ne/Wa lvl 8)
You cannot make anything fool-proof. The fools are too inventive

GW: Tr Gandhi (Ra), Shiva Sung (Mo), Mangal Pandey (Ne), Rana Pratap Singh (Wa), Boddhi Satwa (Ri), Bhagat Singh (De), Bahadur Shastri (Pa)
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109.
 
Re: We don't need no stinking degrees
Sep 30, 2005, 13:30
Re: We don't need no stinking degrees Sep 30, 2005, 13:30
Sep 30, 2005, 13:30
 
Let's face it...if there was a release directly from idsoftware next month we would be buying their prerelease from Activision yesterday as long as it doesn't have a monkey throwing barrels at us.

Sweet, I would pay good money for an updated Donkey Kong with flaming-hell-barrels of DOOM.

It would be like Valve suddenly wanting to develop a multiplayer chess game or something like that.

I think it is checkers but that could be a rumor.

108.
 
Re: We don't need no stinking degrees
Sep 29, 2005, 19:20
Re: We don't need no stinking degrees Sep 29, 2005, 19:20
Sep 29, 2005, 19:20
 
Hehe...yeah, my upper division physics professor is always putting me down in class...saying things like, "engineers aren't aware of this" or "doing it that way would make you an engineer" etc. I take it as funny...it's all funny if you step back a moment.

Well, now that I've read all the comments here's my unqualified thoughts...

For Adrian to file in court there must have been something going on...something serious. We know that Doom3 was not their first choice of game, so for the past year they have been working on "something else" and nobody has said what it is...I think Kevin Cloud [i]almost[/i] gave something away just after the release of Doom3, but so far I don't think we know "exactly" what they are building.

If Activision offered to "buy" idsoftware for $100 million cash then there must have been more on the table than just the money. Activision must be ready to make a big purchase so they can pull ahead of Sierra. Has anyone noticed a game called FEAR? Have you noticed when it's release date is and how it's being marketed? You following me now?

OK...I think Activision feels that idsoftware isn't putting out as much as it really could...that's the only reason to buy something that is already doing business with them, because Activision thinks it can sqeeze more out of it in the future than what it's getting now. Activision probably wants to know more about what their "shining star" is doing right now and is willing to pay $100 million to control the direction that idsoftware is heading. Activision makes a lot of money on the Doom/Quake franchise when a new release hits the streets. Perhaps Activision heard something about what idsoftware was doing now and wants to do something about it. Let's face it...if there was a release directly from idsoftware next month we would be buying their prerelease from Activision yesterday as long as it doesn't have a monkey throwing barrels at us.

So...maybe id's new project is Captain Keen...a 2d game that should stay in the late 80's...capture the stars and tomatoes...jumping spinning...being chased by a walrus...yeah like that other game with the gorilla in it. It would be like Valve suddenly wanting to develop a multiplayer chess game or something like that.

OK...I've spent too much time on this...I have school work to do. But, just keep in mind that there is more going on that just the money.
Let's Rock!
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107.
 
Re: We don't need no stinking degrees
Sep 29, 2005, 18:48
Re: We don't need no stinking degrees Sep 29, 2005, 18:48
Sep 29, 2005, 18:48
 
Yeah...I got a degree in chemical engineering...there was a whole roll of them in the toilets in the applied physics faculty

106.
 
We don't need no stinking degrees
Sep 29, 2005, 18:44
We don't need no stinking degrees Sep 29, 2005, 18:44
Sep 29, 2005, 18:44
 
Wow, talk about everyone suddenly getting advanced economic and law degrees! This is reminiscent of a /. forum!

Uhm...you do know that many gaming businesses and wannabe businesses rely on Blue to gather the news that we are too busy to gather for ourselves. I tried doing his job back in 1997 and it's a 25houraday job. He does an excellent job too! So, don't be surprised if some of the people posting comments to his news articles have degrees that would make your head swim. I'm not one of them...I'm just finishing up my Computer Engineering Bachelors Degree with minors in Physics, Math, and Mechanical Engineering...which means you may see me make comments on high tech stuff like I think I know what I'm doing. I'm just an interested soul when it comes to economics and law.
Let's Rock!
Avatar 21182
105.
 
No subject
Sep 29, 2005, 02:05
No subject Sep 29, 2005, 02:05
Sep 29, 2005, 02:05
 
What the Raven said about AC and what Zeph said about D3.

There is one problem with AC's claim though...it's all nice and well to want 40 million, but it's very unlikely that the guys at id had that kind of money. And that's not just a case of 'having that kind of money lying around', but a case of 'having that kind of money, period'. Even if you earn 3.5 million a year (which is unlikely a sustained sum...that's probably a peak year), you buy stuff, invest stuff, lose it (on rockets for example), put it in the company (has to be re-stated though; seems AC had mucho faith in his company, and should get mucho money for that fact alone)...three guys would have to put in 13 million per person to buy AC out. That's a hell of a lot of money, even if the company is worth that much.
And that's debatable; Activision might have put that kind fo offer up, but they're a huge company who can profit from putting out 2 games a year under the id label...they can afford to pay well over the real value of a company.

104.
 
Re: Half Life
Sep 28, 2005, 21:29
Re: Half Life Sep 28, 2005, 21:29
Sep 28, 2005, 21:29
 
Gordon Freeman was an 'ordinary joe' compared to his fellows.
Your comparison is not apt because the comparison was of Gordon Freeman to the protagonists of other FPS games of the time not to other characters in his own game.

the person with the mere Bachelors degree in metallurgy is an 'ordinary joe'.
Gordon has a Ph.D. not just a bachelor's degree as he is referred to as "Dr. Freeman" by some of the other characters.

This comment was edited on Sep 28, 21:34.
103.
 
Re: Half Life
Sep 28, 2005, 21:28
Re: Half Life Sep 28, 2005, 21:28
Sep 28, 2005, 21:28
 

This comment was edited on Sep 28, 21:29.
102.
 
Regarding ID & Doom3
Sep 28, 2005, 20:07
Regarding ID & Doom3 Sep 28, 2005, 20:07
Sep 28, 2005, 20:07
 
Doom3 wasn't really very scary. The only good part was when that guy is hanging from the ceiling & starts screaming. That was very creepy.

The reason it isn't scary is because it resorts to cheap thrills that get old fast. It's almost always dark. The triggered creatures...

Doom2 was fun because it was hell overflowing. When you saw an archvile, you were terrified because you knew that no matter what you did, you were going to have to fight more creatures. The archvile was intelligent & would teleport to the back of the horde. He wouldn't teleport with a mere few creatures but with at least a dozen. I remember seeing two archviles, 3 hellknights, 10 imps, undead all over the place, and cacodemons flying around all at once!!

The other thing that was scary in Doom2 was the corpses on pikes, the satanic references, candles burning, bodies twitching, legs and arms dismembered from torsos, walls bleeding, and Doom2 was far more frightning than Doom3 simply based on that. The only crossover was a twitching torso, that's it. Oh, the walls were made flesh, which was pretty well done, but it still lacked.

The problem is that ID employees got old. A teenager doesn't have any problem thinking about Satan, dressing up evil on a daily basis, and surrounding themselves with twisted music, posters, and watching satanic movies. The older people get the more they concern themselves with saving their lives and their souls. ID is unable to make a scary game because they're all old farts. Hell was practically empty and it was tiny. There should be little babies being ripped apart by imp demons and women being raped by the horns of some strange demon or being eaten out by a cacademon. There should be men being dismembered by hell knights and little dogs too, puppies even. Make it disturbing. Make it ultra-violent. Make it say fuck you in the face of religion and peta or it isn't convincing as evil. Doom3 wasn't scary. It was timid and lame and lifeless. Doom2 was very scary. It was about hell. Doom3 was about something else; but it wasn't really hell. Maybe the nicest part of hell where demons are stunted, retarded, but graphically better representations of their former selves.

101.
 
Half Life
Sep 28, 2005, 20:02
Half Life Sep 28, 2005, 20:02
Sep 28, 2005, 20:02
 
Gordon Freeman was an 'ordinary joe' compared to his fellows. In a lab where everyone is a rocket scientist, the person with the mere Bachelors degree in metallurgy is an 'ordinary joe'.

This thread has diverged into a 'D3 sucks' thread it seems. Kinda sad. I do not believe Doom 3 sucked... I just think it was a reworking of a genre that has been worked enough. But... the same is true of World of Warcraft. WoW brought nothing really new to the table of MMOs... Blizzard just made the most polished MMO yet. Polish counts... and D3 was very polished. It could get repetetive, but not for too long. The levels were moderately varied in looks, if not playstyle, and it had a plot that moved forward. Doom 3's only major failing was that the gameplay was not as varied as most other more modern titles. But the gameplay they did deliver was extremely well done, and ran surprisingly well on existing computers. Should the one failing of relatively limited variation condemn everyone to calling it a horrible game? I disagree.

But regardless of how good D3 is or is not, I think that this news of A Carmack being fired far more interesting and RELEVANT. The fact that he has acquired 41% of the company shows that he has deliberately chosen to invest in the company over the years... had had to have paid others for their shares when they left, or paid a larger amount than others wanted to. He put his money into the company, and now he's being kicked out, and forced to sell his shares short? That seems highly unfair to me, and I see nothing wrong with him taking this to court as a matter of principle, not just greed.

Dreaming Demon, formerly Tikatt, formerly The Raven
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100.
 
Re: Damn
Sep 28, 2005, 19:36
Re: Damn Sep 28, 2005, 19:36
Sep 28, 2005, 19:36
 
id is NOT the happy place some might expect it to be...
must suck to live every day wondering who's going to stab you in the back.

Does this also cut him out of royalties from the Doom Movie?

This comment was edited on Sep 28, 19:58.
99.
 
Re: No subject
Sep 28, 2005, 17:50
99.
Re: No subject Sep 28, 2005, 17:50
Sep 28, 2005, 17:50
 
I don't see what Godmode would have to do with every room being tight and narrow. Sure, yes, "corridor shooter," which is what I was on this board begging for prior to release, but it turns out corridors get dull when they all look the same and they're all you've got.



Eh, I was being sarcastic to a slight point, but still, the game wasn't THAT tight. You had to move around a little bit to dodge stuff. You're "tight and narrow" corridors still allowed you to move around, and you had to, thus if you didn't, you must have had some assist on.


I wouldn't call an MIT-educated scientist who knows how to handle firearms and works in a classified government facility a "regular guy." Gordon simply wasn't a soldier or cop which was the usual FPS protagonist.


If you had played through farther than what you said, you'd have seen some references to that about Freeman. In fact, the game ends with you being put back on ice by the G-Man for a future jaunt. Really though, it seemed a lot of the events regarding Gordo were pretty scripted and he was selected to do what he did for a reason; thus he somehow has the skills he used in the last two games.
This comment was edited on Sep 28, 17:55.
98.
 
Re: No subject
Sep 28, 2005, 16:41
98.
Re: No subject Sep 28, 2005, 16:41
Sep 28, 2005, 16:41
 
You begin as a regular guy doing your regular thing
I wouldn't call an MIT-educated scientist who knows how to handle firearms and works in a classified government facility a "regular guy." Gordon simply wasn't a soldier or cop which was the usual FPS protagonist.


97.
 
Re: No subject
Sep 28, 2005, 16:40
97.
Re: No subject Sep 28, 2005, 16:40
Sep 28, 2005, 16:40
 


The thing I've discovered about Doom 3 recently is that it is a fantastic co-op game.

I really didn't care for the OOTB experience past mid-Alpha Labs, but when you have a buddy (or three) tearing shit up along side you, it's insanely good fun. Such a fanboy have I become, that I now think the default play-style should have been co-op, with an SP option for those who want it Id really missed the mark when they decided to leave it out.

Really recommending anyone who hasn't tried it out go and download OpenCoop for Doom3. It's like playing a mod with all the pollish of an iD game

http://www.d3opencoop.com



-----
GW: Tashen Boke [R/Me]; Rosti The Ninja [Mo/R]; Gort Grimley [W/Ne]
-----
I'm not even angry. I'm being so sincere right now, even though you broke my heart and killed me.
96.
 
Re: No subject
Sep 28, 2005, 14:30
96.
Re: No subject Sep 28, 2005, 14:30
Sep 28, 2005, 14:30
 
Agreed with Beamer. I didn't mind the game. Some bits were amazing - those wierd machines come to mind as things which made me go "oooh". The monorail level was cool too. The outdoor parts. The first encounters with the big monsters which would be built up, none-too-subtly, until the big whatever it was showed up. All fun.

But the game was severely let down by excessive darkness, unimpressive performance out of the box, and repetitive, fucking dull combat. If there'd been more variation in the monsters it'd have been far better.



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95.
 
Re: No subject
Sep 28, 2005, 13:43
95.
Re: No subject Sep 28, 2005, 13:43
Sep 28, 2005, 13:43
 
Errr, what? Half Life ripped off the original Doom. A portal opens, monsters come through, you have to go through the portal and kill the big baddy at the end to save mankind? We had that in Doom before we had it in Half Life. Let's not get too fanfare'ish for Valve, shall we?


I openly admitted HL wasn't very original, you even quoted it.

What I meant was the exact specifics. You begin as a regular guy doing your regular thing when disaster breaks out. You then follow a mysterious guy around that is always one step ahead of you and seems to know what is going on better than you.

Yes, HL borrowed a great deal from Doom (industrial testing gone awry bringing in baddies to kill), but it wasn't quite as close to this, mostly because in Doom it began with the action and there was no mystery man. HL had overlapping themes with Doom, Doom 3 had overlapping details with HL.

HL borrowed much more from non-interactive media. Doom 3 most likely did the same, it's just that HL was the first to make major waves doing it.

-------------
Doomriders: the first new band worth a signature - http://www.deathwishinc.com/
94.
 
Re: No subject
Sep 28, 2005, 13:18
94.
Re: No subject Sep 28, 2005, 13:18
Sep 28, 2005, 13:18
 
A HL ripoff, right down to the G-Man? Arguably, but it isn't like HL wasn't an entirely original plot, anyway.

Errr, what? Half Life ripped off the original Doom. A portal opens, monsters come through, you have to go through the portal and kill the big baddy at the end to save mankind? We had that in Doom before we had it in Half Life. Let's not get too fanfare'ish for Valve, shall we?

I thought Doom 3 was a good game, but suffered from being too similar all over, and had way too many cheap shit involved. In the end it wasn't so much about your skill in dodging and shooting but your skill in health management. Okay, I can take down these three guys, take 70% damage, but there's a healthpack and I have 50 health left in that healthstation, so I should be good.

Atmospherically, however, it rocked in my opinion. I was scared shitless once I finally entered the Delta Labs.

But I can understand why a lot of people got bored with it. I also didn't like that id didn't optimize the damn game out of the box. I got about 400% performance increase out of optimizations everyone else came up with. You'd think Carmack could have included that in the first fucking patch. Texture tables my ass.

Creston


Avatar 15604
93.
 
Re: No subject
Sep 28, 2005, 11:50
93.
Re: No subject Sep 28, 2005, 11:50
Sep 28, 2005, 11:50
 
Doom 3 was not a lose/lose situation. Had the game been a great game everyone would have won, except for maybe Riley and Tumbler, as one hates good games and one hates games that aren't made by DICE.

I thought the game was amazing at first. I loved id's attention to the plot, and I thought the pda was a great way to give it to you. People that cared could pay attention, people that didn't could simply run and gun. I especially loved that you could listen to it while moving, saving time and keeping the game going at a good clip.

What I didn't like was the design. The darkness was great for a while, but should have been the exception, not the rule. As the rule you'd find yourself getting bored and the gimmick wearing off.

As I mentioned, I also thought the level design was dull. I thought the game design, between the plot and the hallucinations, was great. A HL ripoff, right down to the G-Man? Arguably, but it isn't like HL wasn't an entirely original plot, anyway.

It was just killed by being ultra repetitive gameplay and level design.



As for survival horror, we just got RE4 last weekend. I never dug the RE games, but wow. This game is unmatched for survival horror. I never thought a console game could top similar PC games, but this one just slaughters them. Right down to the locational damage actually making a difference. It's so much fun to pop guys in the knees, drop them, then take them out while they're immobilized.
What separates this game from, say, Doom 3, is variation. You aren't simply doing the same thing over and over and over and over in RE4 like you did in Doom 3.



-------------
Doomriders: the first new band worth a signature - http://www.deathwishinc.com/
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