The history of Wolfenstein
How one of the PC’s most famous series got passed from developer to developer
Wolfenstein 3D was so good that, when id Software took an early version to Sierra in 1992, the publisher quickly tabled a $2.5 million offer to purchase the pre-Doom dev studio. It’s difficult to understate how impactful a game Wolfenstein 3D was—how much it changed things, how it raised the bar, decided it still wasn’t high enough and so tore it off and threw it over a mountain. There were first-person games before id’s effort, there were better games with more longevity since—most from id itself—but Wolfenstein 3D was the game that kickstarted everything, and made established publishers have a ‘holy shit’ moment that made them slap $2.5 million dollars down on the table.
“All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can’t get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer.” —IBM Manual, 1925