ID Software not planning on dedicated server support for Rage
When I first heard about this, I thought that maybe ATI were resurrecting their legacy Rage graphics cards, but I must have been living under a rock for the past couple of years. It turns out that ID Software, makers of the classic Doom and Quake series' of first person shooters have been working on their upcoming title “Rage” since 2007, which is set to be released next year.
Having just watched promo video on ID’s Rage teaser site
I can now definitely see why this is such a highly anticipated title. The graphics and gameplay look second to none and it seems to have a great story line. This is why this news post comes as quite a shock to me.
It seems that ID is looking to kill off the traditional dedicated server model of multiplayer online PC gaming in their latest release, joining the likes of Infinity Ward with their Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 scandal. Ironically, ID’s original Doom was the first game to implement this networking model back in 1993 for LAN gaming.
In a setup similar to online gaming on consoles, Modern Warfare 2 will be using matchmaking technology powered by IWNET to deliver a peer-to-peer gaming experience for gamers. We don’t yet know what Rage will use, however it is bound to be a similar peer-to-peer setup.
Whilst this console styled approach to online gaming may seem like a good idea (and indeed, if you are a game producer it is definitely an attractive proposition), the hardcore PC gamers and game modders are the ones who will suffer. With all gaming traffic routed through a centralized system, peer-to-peer systems effectively cut off support for the third party game mods and communities which make the PC such an attractive platform for online gamers, and wouldn’t be able to run without having many unique dedicated servers.
Once they’ve cut off the free independent mod scene, the game developers are able to release their own paid-for mods and expansion packs as there is no competition, again, a lot like the systems in place on modern consoles.
It almost seems like Rage is being developed as a console game and then ported to the PC instead of the other way round. From the company that started the multiplayer FPS genre, that’s practically treason, selling out their existing fan base in order to cash in on console revenues.