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John Carmack wishes Rage had been released earlier

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John Carmack, wearing a t-shirt that reads "I don't get older, I level up," was recently interviewed on an episode of the Joe Rogan Experience. The co-founder of id Software and CTO of Oculus discussed—among other things—the release of Rage, one of id's less well-received games. Rage picked up several "game of show" awards at E3 in 2010, four years into its development, but when it finally came out in 2012 it the response was muted. 

"By the time it got out the world had changed around us," Carmack says. "The technology decisions that were made for some earlier systems weren't necessarily the right thing for the very latest ones. We now had Call of Duty and Battlefield coming out as these juggernauts that we were competing with, and I look back [at that] as one of those real decisions, I think we should have done whatever it would have taken to ship that two years earlier. Be less ambitious with some of the technologies and get it out earlier."

Carmack goes on to say that though "Doom was the optimal game to ship at the optimal time" he would have been happy to get a less ambitious version of Quake out earlier as well, perhaps putting some of its features into "a Super Doom" and saving the rest for a later game. "Quake was challenging and painful enough that maybe we could have done some things slightly better there."

In the two-and-a-half hour conversation Carmack also touches on the value of releasing source code for older games, moddability, the future of VR, turbocharging Ferraris, and also explains DOTA to Rogan in a conversation about the popularity of esports.

Jody Macgregor
Jody Macgregor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was published in 2015, he edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and actually did play every Warhammer videogame.