Id Software let loose with a trailer for Quake Champions at E3, in which a bunch of heavily-armed men, women, and whatever had a go at each other for reasons unknown. At least two known Quake characters—Ranger and Visor—will apparently be involved, and it will support a 120Hz refresh rate and unlocked framerates. And it is not, Studio Director Tim Willits told Rocket Beans TV, a MOBA.
“There have been some questions, when people saw the Quake Champions trailer, they're like, “Oh my god, is it a MOBA?” Willits said. “No. It's not a MOBA. It's not a MOBA.”
“What we're making is a competitive, arena-style, classic Quake game, with the addition of the Champions,” he continued. “We feel that the Champions are a natural evolution of not only Quake, but the genre. That's why you see a lot of character-driven games, because it doesn't change the fundamental way that you play the game, but it enhances the experience and gives you more to do.”
That characterization naturally leads to thoughts of Overwatch, but Willits said said Quake Champions was not “inspired” by Blizzard's team-based shooter, noting that id had started working on it before Overwatch came out. It will be a “gritty, mature, bloody, competitive, twitchy, high-speed game,” intended to satisfy old-timer Quakers while simultaneously attracting a new audience with a taste for competitive esports. The conventional gameplay modes will all be there, but id is also “refining” one of the team-based modes to make it more esports-focused. The aim is to make it an “inviting and natural progression” from Quake Live, with staples like “rocket jumping, strafing, air control," contained in "a modern game for today."
It will also be exclusive to the PC. “We are not planning on making a console version. We want no excuses, no limitations,” Willits said. “I love our console fans, I'm not shutting the door on consoles, but for this game we want to focus on the platform that can give us the competitive esports angle that we're striving for.”
A release date hasn't been set, but when Quake Champions does come around it will debut in closed beta and expand from there. “We will stay in beta as long as we possibly need to, to ensure it meets our expectations,” Willits said. Beta signups are not currently being taken, but you can register for updates at quake.bethesda.net. Rocket Beans' full interview with Tim Willits is below.
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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.