Drawing a faultline: Quake Live abandons browsers for standalone client

Quake Live is no longer browser-based, full stop.

People are still playing Quake Live – testament both to the once matchless design nous of id, and the fact that shooters have become progressively more sluggish ever since.

Speaking of sluggishness – id have recognised that a proportion of would-be Quake Live players have been hampered by browser compatibility issues or trouble with the game’s plug-in, and so have developed a new standalone client to replace the old system altogether, effective immediately.

I imagine the move renders the game marginally less accessible to key parts of its audience – bored teens lumbered with a PC that isn’t their own, at school or home or parent’s workplace. But only marginally – it’s still free-to-play, and registering with your name and birthdate on the official site will take you straight to the client download page.

“With the new client, the QUAKE LIVE team can dedicate more time to updating in-game features without the worry of how ever-evolving web browsers will affect gameplay and performance,” said Bethesda.

For players with the Quake Live plugin already installed, it’ll simply be a matter of downloading and installing the smaller launcher – which will automatically update their installation files. Those with a favourite third-party standalone client will be forced to change, however – anything dependent on the old plugin format is now defunct.

Worse, there’ll be no Mac or Linux support.

“While we have reports from our testers that the game works through emulation or virtualization software, we are unable to support native Mac and Linux versions,” said Bethesda. “If you’re using Mac and Linux and have a paid subscription, you will only be able to access the game using emulation or virtualization software.”

Hrrm. Still: Quake Live’s two happily tiny monthly subscription options will remain, as will player stats – they’ll be visible alongside profiles and clan rosters within the new client.

Have you been an intermittent Quake Live player? If so, how much of that was due to its snug placement in an internet window?