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Bethesda Handing Out Quake III for Free

$20,000 raised during QuakeCon at Home.

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Bethesda raised a cumulative $20,000 as part of its fully-digital rejigged QuakeCon at Home event the weekend just past. The publisher confirmed as much yesterday, praising viewers who tuned into its 60-hour marathon stream that featured developer panels, celebrity streams, live concerts, and charity fundraising, which granted Quake-themed goodies for reaching certain milestones.

As a means of thanking fans for their contributions, Bethesda has announced that it is giving away Quake III Arena for free. id Software’s seminal first-person shooter will be all too familiar to players of a certain age who dipped a toe into the burgeoning FPS scene in the late 1990s. Despite aged looks, it’s well worth a try if only to get a sense of where many of the today’s dominant FPS games drew their inspiration.


Over the weekend, Bethesda already gave away Quake for free, and further padded out the freebie haul with a copy of Quake II once fundraising passed $10,000. With Quake III now available, players can pick up the first trilogy of Quake titles for absolutely nothing, and relive a chunk of video game history.

The games will be available via the Bethesda Launcher. There’s no word on when that might happen. Bethesda has advised sometime after QuakeCon. We imagine this will be a matter of days. There’s also a little confusion around who can claim Quake 2 and Quake 3. For the Quake giveaway, Bethesda provided the details just below. It’s unclear if this applies to the other two:

“Throughout the weekend of QuakeCon, players can log in to the Bethesda Launcher and obtain a free digital copy of the original Quake. You must be logged into the Launcher with your Bethesda.net account credentials during QuakeCon weekend to receive the free game. If you’re already logged in, you may need to log out and log back in to see the game show as “owned.”


For those wanting to contribute to Bethesda’s charity efforts, the publisher is still accepting donations over on the official QuakeCon portal. Donators can choose from one of four charities. These include:

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

”The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. is America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans. ”

Direct Relief

”Direct Relief is a humanitarian aid organization, active in all 50 states and more than 80 countries, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies – without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay.”

The Trevor Project

”The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning) young people. The organization works to save young lives by providing support through free and confidential suicide prevention and crisis intervention programs on platforms where young people spend their time: a 24/7 phone lifeline, chat, and text. The organization also runs TrevorSpace, the world’s largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth, and operates innovative education, research, and advocacy programs.”


”UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, to defend their rights, and to help them fulfil their potential, from early childhood through adolescence. And we never give up.”

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Tom Bardwell

Tom is a UK-based word spewer with a taste for everything weird and wonderful about games kick-started by a transformative play-through of Metal Gear Solid many moons ago. Adores Hollow Knight, probably a bit too much.