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Doom creator bought by Bethesda

Swallows ego, sells psyche

For sale sign

Id Software, the famed independent game developer behind Doom and Quake, has been sold to ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks.

The acquisition marks the end of id's existence as one of the game industry's few remaining large, successful indie dev houses. Both companies, however, promise to keep the status quo at id Software, with all the company's principals signing long-term employment contracts assuring they'll continue their roles at the studio.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The deal appears to be the result of id having become increasingly weary of spending time and resources dealing with demands of external game publishers like Activision and EA. As part of the deal, Bethesda Softworks will publish future id releases. While not a household name for most, Bethesda does have considerable clout in the gaming world as creator of the Elder Scroll series and now owner of the Fallout franchise. Id's in-development game Rage will still be published by Electronic Arts as the ink has already dried on that particular contract.

"This puts id Software in a wonderful position going forward," said id co-founder John Carmack in a statement. "We will now be able to grow and extend all of our franchises under one roof, leveraging our capabilities across multiple teams while enabling forward looking research to be done in the service of all of them. We will be bigger and stronger, as we recruit the best talent to help us build the landmark games of the future. As trite as it may be for me to say that I am extremely pleased and excited about this deal, I am."

Robert Altman, CEO of ZeniMax, added that his company's role in the purchase is to provide publisher support through Bethesda and give id Software the resources needed to grow and expand.

The full press release on id Software's acquisition is available here. ®

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