id Software’s mobile development shut down so that DOOM 4 can thrive

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During his annual keynote speech at this year’s QuakeCon event, id Software co-founder and technical director John Carmack has named-checked DOOM 4 and revealed that the company’s mobile game development aspirations where cut short in order to beef up development on its next big triple-A title.

John Carmack at QuakeCon 2012

John Carmack’s annual keynotes at QuakeCon are legendary and have often been described as ‘stream of concious’ talks where the developer walks on stage and “rambles on” (his words) about whatever topics pop into his head – everything from game development and technology innovations, to programming difficulties and his work at Armadillo Aerospace developing rockets.

By all accounts, this year’s keynote was a little more directed and subdued, and while talking about his enjoyment of working on smaller mobile titles on iPhone and other platforms, he revealed how members of the mobile development team had been moved over to “the DOOM 4 project.”

“We did make the decision to close up our mobile development,” Carmack began, “which saddened me a lot in that I loved doing the mobile work, taking that time – spending a month or year or something on a mobile project – but we had some developers on there that we wanted to bring onto the DOOM 4 project, and it was looked at as something that “Yes this is fun, this is fun for the company, it makes money,” but it’s not a grand slam sort of thing.

“The Bethesda family really is about swinging for the fences,” Carmack continued referencing id Software’s parent company. “I do hope we get back to mobile in various ways in the future, but the big, real aim is blockbuster triple-A titles – for id, that means DOOM 4. It means we get the whole company behind that and after we get DOOM 3: BFG Edition out the door, then essentially everybody will be focussed on DOOM 4 as a project.”

It is at least a little sad that Carmack’s strategy of ‘porting up’ from mobile to higher definition platforms hasn’t been able to bear fruit and create lasting intellectual properties as he had originally hoped, but as he said, maybe id will get back to mobile one day.

I’m hoping for new additions to the Orcs and Elves franchise, myself.

Oh, and when will we see DOOM 4? According to Carmack, “it will be done when it’s done.”


Earlier this year, screenshots of a game in development at id Software leaked out, but were later said to be not representative of what DOOM 4 will be.

Who’s looking forward to DOOM 4? Looks like we’ll need to wait a while longer before we get an official look at the game.

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