Tim Willits lands Saber Interactive chief creative role

August 13, 2019 | 11:35

Tags: #halo #halo-online #quake-champions #the-witcher-3 #tim-willits #will-rock

Companies: #bethesda-softworks #id-software #saber-interactive #zenimax-media

Tim Willits has unveiled his new employer, following his departure from id Software after nearly two and a half decades at the company: Saber Interactive.

Willits, who joined Doom and Quake creator id Software back in 1995 after impressing the company with his home-made Doom levels, announced he was leaving the company in July this year. A controversial figure in the industry thanks to claiming to have invented multiplayer-only maps and to have been responsible for the entirety of the Quake shareware episodes, which former id Software colleagues John Carmack, John Romero, and American McGee all soundly reject, Willits served as lead designer on Doom 3 and Quake 4 before taking over as studio director following the 2009 acquisition of id Software by ZeniMax Media.

While Willits confirmed he was leaving the company, he didn't say where - until now. In an interview with Fortune, Willits has confirmed he is leaving to serve as chief creative officer at Saber Interactive - 500-strong company which is nevertheless considerable smaller than the one he leaves.

Founded in 2001 by Andrey Iones, Matthew Karch, and Anton Krupkin, Saber Interactive has a somewhat eclectic back catalogue: The company's first title was divisive and largely-forgotten shooter Will Rock, followed by the somewhat better-remembered TimeShift. The company partnered with Microsoft in 2011 to release an enhanced version of the first Halo game for the Xbox 360, then again in 2014 for The Master Chief Collection on the Xbox One. While its work on the cancelled Halo Online would never see the light of day, Saber likely came into contact with Willits when working on Quake Champions in 2017 - a game which it followed up with, oddly, NBA Playgrounds, Spintires: MudRunner, Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn, and NBA 2K Playgrounds 2, before returning to the shooter arena with World War Z. The company's most recent titles, meanwhile, include Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered and The Witcher 3: Complete Edition for the Nintendo Switch.

According to Fortune, Willits will be responsible for growing Saber and assisting with the development of new in-house intellectual properties - properties hopefully more memorable than Will Rock.

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