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id Software: Quake Champions’ titular Champions are a “natural progression” of the franchise

Speaking with Stevivor at Gamescom this year, id Software’s Tim Willits explained why Quake Champions’ titular Champions are “a natural progression” of the Quake franchise.

“In the last 20 years we have seen shifts in colour. Everyone moves in one direction,” Willits said. “I don’t think that any Heroes or Champions are a left turn from the first-person genre. It is a natural progression. People, fans, players are very excited about this.

“Games have gotten so much more complex. When I play [Call of Duty:] Advanced Warfare with my kid – man, there is so much stuff going on in that game. I laugh with him. I say, ‘Just give me a rail gun. I’ll just tear someone up.’”

Willits insisted that the Champions fit with Quake’s foundations.

“The core of Quake, really, is movement. Then, weapons — we have the holy trinity of course: the rocket launcher, railgun and lighting gun. You have these powerful, meaty, cool weapons, you have movement as offense and defence, and then you have this arena where you can have targets coming from any direction. That, at its core, is there. How you play in that world can be shifted based on the Champion space.

“I believe that players attach themselves with a character class, Champion, Hero — whatever you want to call it. They can progress and grow as a player with that Champion. They can get more depth and strategy from working those types of champions and it definitely adds to the overall game. They all play it and still be like, ‘Yep, this feels like Quake.’

Willits said the Champions will not alter Quake’s core, but rather, feed into it.

“The Champions don’t fundamentally change the way you play. You still run around, rocket jump — the best players still go ahead and win. The Champions allow people to put more thought into the experience. They allow more strategy in the games, and it’s a natural progression of the franchise.

“It’s not replaceable because the Champions don’t really drastically change the way you play.

“Remember, original Quake was all about free-for-all. You had one guy that meant everyone else lost. With Champions, if you play one of the team game modes, you have a better chance of winning. If you pick a Champion that you like and a personality that you like, you can do stuff with stability and feel successful, you can build a feeling of success and you can learn more about Quake and learn more about the arena and your skill will improve and you can pull people in.”

Regardless of your own opinions of what Champions mean to Quake, it’s all about drawing more players into the franchise in the end.

“We really need to get a larger audience,” Willits said. “We already have the world’s best Quake fans. Now we need all the other guys.”

The PC-only Quake Champions is expected in 2018.



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Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for close to fifteen years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.