- id Software, known for its groundbreaking id Tech gaming engines, is reportedly working on a new engine, id Tech 8.
- id Tech engines have powered iconic games like the original Doom and the more recent Doom Eternal.
- While there's no official word yet, the new engine may debut with a title from MachineGames, possibly a new addition to the Wolfenstein series.
id Software has been keeping a low profile since 2020, but it appears there's a compelling explanation behind this. Recent reports indicate that the American game developer is actively engaged in the development of a new id Tech engine to take ripping and tearing to new heights.
According to the eagle-eyed Twitter user @bogorad222, a LinkedIn profile of Philip Hammer, a principal engine programmer at id Software, hinted that the company has already commenced work on id Tech 8. Although this reference was promptly edited out and the original post was removed, several vigilant users managed to capture screenshots before they vanished into the digital ether.
In case you're not up to speed on this particular topic, let's do a quick recap. id Tech is a series of game engines that have powered some of the most cherished titles in the world of gaming - and for a long time, too, arguably forming a cornerstone of gaming history.
Starting with the original Doom engine, which delivered classics like Doom II and Doom 64, and moving on to the more recent id Tech 7, which powered the visually breathtaking Doom Eternal, id Software has consistently pushed the boundaries of what can be achieved in terms of gaming graphics and performance.
So, why all the fuss about id Tech 8? Well, if history is anything to go by, id Tech engines are nothing short of revolutionary. Bethesda even incorporated aspects of id Tech into Creation Engine 2, which played a pivotal role in enhancing Starfield's graphics. However, as with all things glorious, there's a flip side.
Remember the fiasco with Mass Effect: Andromeda? The RPG title was built using EA's DICE Frostbite 3 engine, a departure from the series' previous Unreal Engine 3 foundation. This shift forced BioWare to build tools, systems, and assets from scratch, leading to a myriad of development challenges.
A similar story unfolded with Dragon Age: Inquisition, which transitioned from the Eclipse Engine. The point here is that in-house-developed engines, while powerful, often come with a steep learning curve, which many developers struggle to overcome. If not accounted for in development planning, it can outright doom a game to failure.
Swinging back to id Software, with Doom Eternal nearing its four-year mark and the studio's history of lending its engine to other developers, the anticipation is palpable. In 2021, Xbox bigwig Phil Spencer teased the potential of id Tech engines being used by Xbox Game Studios, stating,
The other thing that we haven't really talked about is the future of id Tech and what could that mean inside of Xbox. Obviously, you know, we've got a ton of studios doing a bunch of different work. I love the way Marty Stratton [Doom Eternal director] talked about how they've collaborated with our Bethesda studios on id Tech and I just think about that to the next level. Like, what can we do inside of our organization with id Tech, which is one of the world's best game engines out there, and just make it a tool that so many developers can use to realize their vision.
As of writing, there has not been any official confirmation regarding the development of any new title utilizing the existing id Tech 7 proprietary game engine. However, speculation suggests that the next title from MachineGames, possibly a new entry in the Wolfenstein series, might be the first to showcase the power of id Tech 8.