Todd Hollenshead Explains Why Quake Live Isn’t A Success Yet

Todd Hollenshead Explains Why Quake Live Isn’t A Success Yet

Quake Live is a browser based free-to-play version of the classic FPS Quake III Arena that has been out of beta for a year. In a recent interview with VG24/7 id CEO Todd Hollenshead discussed what hasn’t gone right.

“The thing for us with Quake Live is that there’s one specific thing that can be isolated here,” said Hollenshead. “The in-game advertising model hasn’t delivered as promised.”

While the service has been popular, it hasn’t been as financially successful as other ad based online games. Due to different gameplay styles, ads are are easier to pass over in fast paced game like Quake Live. “For Farmville and those types of games embedded into Facebook — which are pretty pervasive about advertising — there’ s a different model than what we have in Quake Live. You’re playing through the game, and we’re dynamically delivering ads to you.”

Id has had their fair share of bad luck with the service as well. The advertising companies they work with were hit hard by the financial crisis. And four years after in-game advertising company Massive Inc. was acquired by Microsoft, the company was shut down.

“So that [shutting down Massive Inc]had ramifications for us, because we used Massive. And if that was more successful, that’d have had some significant impact on what Quake Live is.”

Quake Live isn’t the only new gaming platform id has explored in recent years, as their iOS games have been extremely successful. But those games play more to id’s strength. “Our skillset is leveraging our ability to create unbelievable graphics on, like, iOS devices,” said Hollenshead.

Does a lack of success mean id is turning away from free-to-play Quake? They’ve already implemented an optional subscription model, added video advertising, and put ads on the Quake Live website. But the future is still unclear, but that doesn’t mean the service is close to dying.

“So I still think the jury hasn’t come in and given the verdict yet. As long as I’ve got an opportunity to try and do something with Quake Live — because I love the game — [I’ll do it] .” Said Hollenshead. “The game is an entertainment success, so now we have to figure out how to make the business model work.”

Id’s Superego: Todd Hollenshead on all things id Software [VG24/7]


  • How would the advertising work? Does he mean not many players are seeing the ads or not many checking out the products once they have?
    Cause it should be no surprise that players are there to shoot stuff not click on banners.

  • In my experience, the ad delivery is just plain broken. When starting a game a 30 sec vid is shown, but seldom does it work. You either get nothing, the ad starting half-way through or not finishing. There are still some ads that I have no idea what the product is. The presentation needs to be much slicker if they think this model will be workable.

  • Hollenshead is delusional and seems rather clueless of the real problems that have plagued QL since the beta, problems which seem to come entirely from Development and mismanagement. Advertising and Marketing don’t work, period – when a game is NOT what people want.

    During the Beta, we were asked for feedback, asked for ideas, asked for all these suggestions… and the developers took NONE of these things into consideration and just redid Quake III for “supported” browsers (a joke… the only supported browsers are Firefox, which crashes constantly – and IE which sucks for gameplay). A majority of people wanted Promode / CPMA physics. That was ignored (even as a server option). This pretty much leaves out the core of the game’s constituency. Very sad. This could have been great. Not only that, but nothing works, ever. You can’t even order Pro / Premium without the page crashing constantly, or returning errors. The customer service is HORRIBLE and doesn’t reply to support tickets, or emails. They don’t read forums and it seems they simply don’t care.

    QL has been horribly mismanaged since it left Beta, which is really too bad, because it could be doing a lot better if Id would just pull their heads out.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!