Former id Software boss Tim Willits joins Saber Interactive

(Image credit: Tim Willits (Twitter))

Tim Willits announced in July that after nearly a quarter-century at id Software, he was moving on to something else. Today, he revealed what that something else is: Willits is the new chief creative officer at Saber Interactive, the developer of World War Z, NBA 2K Playgrounds, and the upcoming Ghostbusters remaster.

"Being with a studio for 24 years, it’s really hard to leave," Willits said in an interview with Fortune. "It’s almost like a marriage, for lack of a better description... [But] I saw how Saber, as a team, was starting to grow and expand and pick up teams and studios. It was a good time to move over."

"The agility of small teams and the opportunity to get stuff done quickly can’t be overstated. I'm not saying anything bad about Bethesda—I love them—but smaller teams are exciting and fun. When someone has a good idea, we jump on it. If it doesn’t work out, we change it quick."

Interestingly, Willits said that the opportunity to work on non-shooter was a big part of what attracted him to Saber. Aside from a brief dalliance with Commander Keen, his time at id was spent exclusively on FPS games, and he said that his experiences in that genre, which requires "attention to precise detail," will serve him well outside of it.

"In a Quake or Doom game, everything has to be perfect—every microsecond. The games I’ve made in the past, they’re not the easiest games to play, but I’ve learned a lot on how to bring people in," he said. "And I do think there’s a lot of crossover. Even in World War Z, a lot of the mechanics are similar, but I do really believe I can bring some of that intensity and action into new genres."

As for why he made the decision to leave id Software in the first place, he said that he's at a point in his career where he wants to "work on fun stuff."

"I don’t have anything to prove. I’ve been successful. I’ve made good games," he said. "At the end of the day, I’m literally going to travel around the world to cool places to work with awesome teams and make video games. Why would I pass this up?"

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.