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."
I am excited to announce that on August 1st I became the Chief Creative Officer of Saber Interactive. I will be leading the creative vision of our five studios around the world. pic.twitter.com/rsJ1OsgHkXAugust 12, 2019
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?"