Isn't it amusing, though, that the company John Romero started after leaving id Software actually produced more good games than id has produced since Romero was forced out? I realize that Romero didn't work directly on the "good" Ion Storm games, but it's still interesting. Ion Storm put out Deus Ex, Anachronox, and Thief: Deadly Shadows. These are three well regarded games. The quality of id Software's post Romero releases is debatable at best. Quake II was basically a map pack for Quake with insipid level and monster design. Quake III was a stripped down multiplayer only game that never appealed to wide audience of gamers like Doom and Quake (hint: people actually like good single player campaigns and expect them in addition to multiplayer components). Nobody bought Quake III's expansion pack, and the servers were empty from day one. Doom 3 failed to capture the magic of the original games. Rage was a commercial and critical disaster. John Carmack might be a brilliant software engineer, but Rage was a mess even on a technical level. The game's texture pop-in was horrible; it's the first game where you can look at a technical direction Carmack went and confidently state that he made a bad decision. It's staggering that they took seven years to develop such a mediocre, technically flawed game. The upcoming Doom 3: BFG Edition will be a poor seller; who wants to pay almost full price for an eight year old game? Unless their next game is a huge hit, id Software is in major trouble.
I think it's going to be much longer than 5 years--even if they continue to bumble along. There is a lot of inertia behind Microsoft in the form of software and driver support. On my gaming box, I have a Creative X-Fi Titanium HD card that's connected to a home theater receiver. It uses DTS Connect to convert game audio to DTS for the receiver in real time. The Linux drivers available for this card don't support DTS Connect or Dolby Digital Live. I'd have to give up my home theater setup and use some low quality 5.1 PC speakers if I switched to another operating system. My music player of choice, Foobar 2000, is Windows only. Nvidia graphics card drivers for MacOS and Linux are less performant than the Windows drivers. Many businesses have got suckered into putting everything on Sharepoint, and they'll be stuck with it for many years. Microsoft is still clearly the dominant desktop operating system, and it'll take more than a few years of Balmer blunders before they become irrelevant to me.