While we didn’t get a chance to get the news up during the show, there were a couple of interesting news bits to come out of QuakeCon 2009 – not the least of which was word that the advertising-based business model for Quake Live was not panning out as well as hoped.  John Carmack, in his opening day keynote, stated as much:

“The in-game advertising stuff has not been big business.  It’s not going to be able to carry the project.”

Pretty much straight the point – that’s why we love John.  The answer is apparently going to be an optional fee that users can pay to gain controller of individual servers, configurations, etc.  That would essentially be like a lot of the “for rent” gaming server services available today.  However, Carmack did say that the game would always be free to play in its most basic form.

Quake Live will add subscription options, still free to play - Graphics Cards 2
John Carmack at QuakeCon 2009

While not great news for other attempts at online advertising-funded gaming, it is good to see that id Software is simply not just shutting down the experiment.