id Software has a long history of being friendly towards the Linux and open-source communities. id Software was an early game company to support the Linux platform and they have ported many titles to Linux, including their popular Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Quake 4, and Doom 3 titles. Their in-house id Tech game engines have been compatible with Linux and provide an OpenGL renderer. After the game engines have reached the end of their market life, id Software has also open-sourced these engines for use by the free software community. But with id Tech 5 could id Software possibly be open-source to begin with? The web-site for the Rage game seems to imply that id Tech 5 is in fact open-source.
It seems incredibly unlikely that id Tech 5 would be open-source to the community in the form that id Tech 3 and the older engines are provided free of charge to the community. id Software hasn't even opened up id Tech 4 yet, but that's expected to take place this calendar year. However, it was pointed out in our forums
this morning that the Rage site clearly says id Tech 5 is open-source.
A graphic on this web-page
for id Software's Rage game clearly states the engine is open-source. The graphic is also copied below, but it says "id Tech 5; Developed by id Software, id Tech 5 is an advanced open source engine capable of creating incredible environments."
While we're sure id Tech 5 will eventually be open-source years down the road, this would be extremely surprising if id Tech 5 is open-source (in the traditional context) immediately. We've reached out to id Software to find out if this is a big mistake on the part of their marketing / web department or whether there is actually an open-source surprise.
Regardless, this year we will likely see id Tech 4 at least go open-source (most likely at their annual QuakeCon this summer; at least year's QuakeCon is when they open-sourced ET and RTCW
) and the Rage game is slated for release this September. The id Tech 5 engine and Rage game will work with Linux
, but possibly not right out of the starting gate.
Besides Rage, id's Doom 4 will also be based upon id Tech 5. It's also expected to be licensed to third-parties as a proprietary engine, which makes this open-source news even more surprising.