Bethesda Parent Company Buys Legendary Doom Developer

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Well that's that then, the parent company of the guys who make Oblivion and Fallout 3 just bought the folks who make a couple games you've maybe heard of called Doom and Quake. Put less jaw-droppingly, ZeniMax Media--the front company for Bethesda Softworks--just picked up id Software, and all the developer/administrative celebs at both houses seem to be high-fiving the deal with bells on.

Of the transaction, id CEO Todd Hollenshead wrote:

This was a unique opportunity to team with a smart, sophisticated publisher like Bethesda Softworks where the interests of the studio and the publisher will be fully aligned in the development and marketing of our titles. In addition, we will now have financial and business resources to support the future growth of id Software, a huge advantage which will result in more and even better games for our fans.

Kind of wild, when you think how long both companies have been--for all intents and purposes--independent entities. Bethesda set up shop in 1985 and somehow managed to avoid being assimilated by the publishing borg, while id's done one-off deals with majors like Electronic Arts and Activision but remained autonomous since 1991. They've both witnessed the rise and fall of dozens of others studios--many just as groundbreaking--from Origin (Ultima, Wing Commander) and Black Isle (Fallout, Icewind Dale, Baldur's Gate) to Strategic Simulations, Inc. (Pool of Radiance, Panzer General) and Looking Glass (System Shock, Thief, Terra Nova) to Bullfrog (Populous, Syndicate Wars, Dungeon Keeper) and Westwood Studios (Dune II, Command & Conquer).

ZeniMax's press release goes out of its way to assure that id Software will continue to operate as a separate studio under founder and code wizard John Carmack's direction. "No changes will be made in the operations of id Software in the developer of its games," says the release, adding "All the principals at id Software have signed long-term employment contracts." Business as usual, in other words.

"This puts id Software in a wonderful position going forward," said John Carmack, explaining that the purchase will allow id Software to nurture its franchises in a single, resource-consolidated space. "We will be bigger and stronger, as we recruit the best talent to help us build the landmark games of the future," he continued, adding "As trite as it may be for me to say that I am extremely pleased and excited about this deal, I am."

Hard to believe, but the presently much-beloved company that long ago made some of the buggiest fantasy role-playing games in the industry (remember Daggerfall?) now owns the company that pretty much defined said industry with green-glowing BFGs and auto-catapulting rocket launchers from the 1990s on.

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