id Software


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The id logo used in the classic Doom games

id Software is a game developer founded on February 1, 1991 based in Mesquite, Texas by four members of the computer company Softdisk, programmers John Carmack and John Romero, game designer Tom Hall, and artist Adrian Carmack. They are the authors of Doom and Doom II, as well as numerous other well-known titles such as the Quake series of games, Wolfenstein 3D, and Commander Keen.

The company drastically changed its members through the years, including the original founders. On June 24, 2009, it was announced that id Software had been acquired by ZeniMax Media, owner of Bethesda Softworks.


A Softdisk-era game by "Ideas From the Deep"

The company founders originally formed a group naming itself "Ideas From the Deep" while working for Softdisk. According to the book Masters of Doom, the name "id" came from the phrase "in demand". Later on, it was officially described by the company as "the primal section of the human psyche" which in Freudian psychology is responsible for instinctual and primitive impulses.[1]

In the wake of John Carmack's invention of the adaptive tile refresh technique for the PC's EGA graphics adapter, the company was officially formed to become independent from Softdisk, and initially worked with Apogee Software as its publisher.

Although id originally began by publishing games in other genres, such as the two-dimensional platformers in the Commander Keen series, the company became deeply involved in the creation of the first-person shooter genre early on. Their earliest efforts in 3D date back to the Softdisk era, with titles such as Hovertank 3D and Catacomb 3-D. The first 3D game they made as an independent studio, Wolfenstein 3D, is often considered as one of the first FPS, and a highly influential title in its own right. Doom popularized the genre and PC gaming in general, as well as pioneered multiplayer with its serial, LAN, and dial-up capabilities. Its successor Quake was the first shooter to have a client-server architecture for multiplayer.

id Software would remain one of the foremost independent game studios to remain in the business into the 21st century, successfully negotiating with third party publishers and distributors, including GT Interactive and Activision, to bring their games to the public. This was carried out while simultaneously making significant money through licensing of John Carmack's powerful, bleeding-edge game engines to other studios (the series of which came to be known collectively as "id Tech"). This era came to a close on June 24, 2009 when the co-owners reached an agreement to sell all stakes in the company to ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, which now serves as id's publisher.

The history of the individual members of id Software diverges at various points, as members left or were fired for various reasons. This began with the departure of Tom Hall before the release of Doom, the firing of John Romero after the release of Quake, and most recently culminated in the departure of John Carmack in November 2013.

Main frachises

As developers

As publishers

Original employees

External links


  1. "id Software: Business." (archived 🏛). Retrieved 10 February 2016.

id Software - Doom era
Idlogo old.gif
id Software - Doom 3 era
IdSoftware Logo 200x.png
id Software - ZeniMax era
IdSoftware Logo 2016.png