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Vol. 2, Issue 6
December 15, 1999

Game, Set, Match!

King of the World
(this world, anyway)

by Stephanie "Bobbi" Bergman




hen people talk about online competitive gaming, 9 times out of 10, they’re talking about one of the versions of Quake. id Software has never publicly discussed how they feel about this, or why is it that Quake is being used in all of these high-stakes matches. loonygames figured it was about time someone talked to id about Quake and online gaming, so we went right to the source, Todd Hollenshead, Chief Executive Officer of id Software.

Quake and Quake II have become standout games, not only because they're fun to play, but because they are truly the first games a gamer can make a large amount of money playing. Is this something id predicted? Could you personally have seen this coming?

Playing games for a living is still a tough thing to accomplish, but the fact that a few people can do it isn't all that surprising to me. No one is getting rich off of that quite yet (at least that I'm aware of). But once competitions started being held, the next logical step is to start giving away prizes. Bigger prizes attract the best competitors, which attracts more attention and it just starts to feed off of itself.

How does id feel about Quake being used in this way?

Honestly, it's an honor that Quake/Quake II/Quake III Arena have become the defacto standard action game for these competitions.

Both Frank Cabanski of i2e2 and Angel Munoz of the CPL have stated that they do not wish to make money off of gamers. Yet their for-profit organizations exist to run tournaments for gamers, mainly with cash prizes. How does id deal with other companies using their software?

They want to make money (everyone does - no crime in that), just maybe not off of gamers themselves. We just have to make sure and protect our intellectual property rights. Running a professional league isn't something that we have much interest in; we make games. And those games are the best action games in the world because we focus on that one thing and nothing else.

QuakeCon '99 was another tournament with significantly large prizes, yet run by id. Do you see yourself as being in competition with the CPL and similar companies?

We view QuakeCon as an event where we give something back to the fans. We get sponsors to help us pay for it, but it's not about the money. And that's not what our business is, which, as I stated before, is making killer games.

There has, fortunately, been very little cheating in these large scale, high-cash tournaments. In the event that someone does cheat, and they do so using an exploit in the software, where does id stand? Theoretically, is there a liability?

You should probably ask an attorney. It's difficult to speculate about hypothetical situations, however.

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Credits: Illustration © 1999 Dan Zalkus. Game, Set, Match! is © 1999 Stephanie Bergman. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited, you dolt.