Doom 4 was notably absent from QuakeCon, but id Software says the game is still in full production, and that its absence can be explained by the studio’s aversion to long public relations campaigns.

When asked about the game in an open Q&A, John Carmack demurred, saying he was told not to speak about Doom 4’s ongoing development.

More candidly, id Software creative director Tim Willits told Polygon that the studio announced the game in 2007 to attract talented developers to the project.

“We have found that long PR cycles don’t help,” said Willits. “They’re a distraction to the development team. Your message can easily get diluted if you’re not careful. Bethesda has had great success with – heck, look at the Skyrim launch, that was like nine months!”

“One of the problems we got into — it’s always easy to say that — is that way back, when we wanted to grow the studio and look for great talent, we said, ‘Hey, we’re going to make another Doom game.’ We thought, ‘If we tell people we’re going to make another Doom game, we’re gonna attract some great talent.’ But that put a flagpole in the ground of when people thought we started on Doom. We wanted to throw that out there to tell people, ‘This is what we’re working on for the future, but we want to find people to do it.

“It takes forever to hire people. It takes months to hire one person. But yeah, it was a while. But again, like we said, now we’re streamlined. It’s difficult for developers to always have to make demos, go to events and shows, and at the end of the day, a great launch is important for a game, but a great game is important for success.”

In related news, Willits told Joystiq that the Rage franchise “is not dead.”

“I’m proud of what we did, I’m proud of the universe that we built. The franchise is not dead. We’re not doing anything immediately with it, but when I designed the universe, I designed it in such a way that it would be easy to step back into. I’m still proud that we did something that was different – it wasn’t like the games that we’ve done in the past.

“We really tried to do one engine that worked for everything,” said Willits. “It really helps establish a robust tech that, as John [Carmack] said last night, we’re adding stuff into it based on the new consoles, and it’s allowed people to make different games because the technology is flexible and robust and works on everything.”