Id Software talks Heretic, Hexen and Commander Keen

Chris Stead 12 September 2016


The developer has been bringing back all the classics in recent years, so what is next on the list? We asked creative-director Tim Willits.

Wolfenstein. Tick. Doom. Tick. Quake. Tick. Do you notice a trend? It seems like Id Software is rebounding from the so-so success of Rage by dipping into its back catalogue and reimagining all its classics one after another. And they’ve been great fun, so at QuakeCon, when I got a chance to sit down with Quake Champions’ creative director Tim Willits, I had to ask about some of the studio’s other IP. The older ones from way back in the day when my hair was buoyant with life (and not grimly clinging on). Would they be getting some modern love too?

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So you’ve brought back Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake. Is Commander Keen next?

[Laughs] That’s funny, I know you're old-school when you ask that. Well there are some people at id Software who would love it, but we just have too many IPs. It’s funny as I have never been that much of a Commander Keen fan, but we have people that love it to death.

What about Heretic and Hexen; do you know who owns the rights?

Oh, that’s a complicated thing, but yes I do. We, id Software, have the publishing rights. And Activision, has the development rights. So that’s a bit of a hairy situation as one of us would have to relinquish those rights.

Has that conversation happened though?

Not in the last few years.

When I spoke to Pete Hines yesterday, he said that Rage sold enough for a sequel and that he would like to see a Rage 2, what are your thoughts?

I echo his thoughts exactly. [Laughs]

Well that sucks about Heretic and Hexen; what chance is there that Bethesda and Activision can smoke the peace pipe on that one for the good of old-school gamers? It would seem unlikely. But a brand new downloadable side-scrolling Commander Keen can’t be too big an ask, right? If you’re willing to use Saber Interactive to handle Quake Champions, surely you can find a great indie to come in and rework the once mighty Keen into a downloadable gem?

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