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Sweeney's a strong, innovative player in his own right, but the fact is, he got his start by chasing Carmack's taillights from one E3 to the next.

JC was doing this stuff back before you could Google how to do it, or buy a book at your local B&N telling you how to do it. That counts for a lot. So does his consistent willingness to bring the fire down the mountain and hand it to the masses.

I think you're not giving Sweeney enough credit. He basically invented modding with ZZT: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZZT

Additionally, post Quake 3, the team at Epic routinely chose better design tradeoffs for real world games. This includes both performance tradeoffs and spending of engineering effort on production needs (like a solid level editor). Hence the popularity of the Unreal 3 engine.

Yeah, I don't think there's any question that Epic owns id in the production department. That was true from the beginning.

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