The in-game advertising is done by a company called IGA. Do they understand games?
MS: IGA understand that there are advertisers that match the kind of players we're going to have in Quake Live and there are advertisers who aren't. They're not in the business of trying to put Martha Stewart ads in Quake Live. They want advertisers to be in the game that will relate to players.
We've gone through every level and really done a first-rate job of placing ads that fit. It feels like a stadium, there's stadium lighting and scoreboards, and we've given every aspect of ad placement a level of polish.
How will mods work with Quake Live?
JC: The answer is that, in the classic mod sense of being able to hack whatever you want, they don't. We've incorporated a lot of the things that have been popular in mods, we're working with mod teams on there, but it is essentially a controlled system. We're in no way shutting down the original Q3A scene, so anybody who wants to build things with the open-source code is still more than free to do so. That may even become a proving ground for moving things into Quake Live.
Would id ever consider doing something like this with a new game?
JC: There's no way we could justify building a modern game for the PC exclusively. Not to say that it's impossible, but it just wouldn't be a good bet. Even a big-budget extravaganza like Crysis didn't do very well in the larger scheme of things. So if you want to develop something on the PC right now, it had better either be cross-platform (like what we're doing with Rage) or it'd have to be something like Spore or The Sims 2, that really caters to the type of game that more people are playing on the PC. Or it'd have to be something a little bit different, like what we're doing with Quake Live. At least that's my assessment of the business situation right now. Everybody's still free to make their own decisions, but I don't think the trends are encouraging for high-end, media-rich, PC action gaming.
If this is successful, do you plan on releasing more browser games?
JC: If it is successful, we've tossed around the idea of taking the Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory game (which was actually always more popular than Q3A in the online space) and doing a similar treatment on it with the experience we've gained here. But no effort will be spent on that until we know whether Quake Live was a brilliant idea or if it was a dumb move.