Rumor: Doom 4 Development On Shaky Ground

Rumor: Doom 4 Development On Shaky Ground


Bethesda has confirmed that Doom 4's development cycle restarted in 2011.

We gamers can get pretty annoyed when a publisher churns out annual releases, but it could be far worse. Some of the biggest flops in our medium are actually those delayed far beyond an initial release date, such as Aliens: Colonial Marines or Duke Nukem Forever. While not a death sentence, it certainly makes one wary of games like Doom 4, which was announced in 2008. Bethesda recently confirmed the game's development was completely restarted in 2011, meaning that id Software is building everything from scratch. Far more concerning, however, are statements from anonymous sources that work on Doom 4 was hindered by conflicting priorities and a divided work culture.

On the official side of things, Bethesda's Pete Hines provided a statement as to why Doom 4 needed a reboot in the first place. "An earlier version of Doom 4 did not exhibit the quality and excitement that id and Bethesda intend to deliver and that Doom fans worldwide expect," Hines said. "As a result, id refocused its efforts on a new version of Doom 4 that promises to meet the very high expectations everyone has for this game and this franchise. When we're ready to talk about the Doom 4 id is making, we will let folks know."

Outside of official statements, the problem could run a little deeper. According to Kotaku, multiple anonymous sources claim that a lack of studio leadership has greatly impacted work on Doom 4. While management was focused on Rage, Doom 4's development team introduced gameplay tropes and conventions that didn't really fit with the franchise. When publisher ZeniMax finally inspected the game's progress, they discovered what id jokingly called "Call of Doom", a sequel containing heavy use of scripted sequences and an obligatory vehicle section. ZeniMax responded by shelving Rage 2 so id could refocus its efforts on Doom 4.

As frustrating as the delay may be, starting from scratch can be beneficial if one embraces a new direction. Unfortunately, Kotaku's sources suggest that such opportunities were short-lived. Managers from the Rage and Doom 4 teams have had difficulty integrating, leading to internal struggles and, eventually, a staff exodus. Most of id's top talent has reportedly quit or been fired, and continued work on Doom 4 is suffering as a result. "It's not going well," one source said. "Poor management, poor organization... [id] just couldn't nail down design... It's just a mess."

We probably won't know how accurate the reports are until we're closer to Doom 4's launch. Unfortunately, no release date has been set, and John Carmack himself stated that Doom 4 will be "done when it's done". On the other hand, Carmack also reportedly told the dev team that "Doom means two things: demons and shotguns," so maybe there's hope for id yet.

Source: Kotaku, via Eurogamer


With Rage being super disappointing I have pretty low expectations for Doom4. The original leaked concept work/models for the game looked awful and didn't evoke what doom is at all. Strange that they're having so much trouble. All you need is a bunch of cool looking locations, some bad ass guns and some fun monsters to fight. How is that kind of game even remotely hard to make now? Serious Sam/Painkiller with a bigger budget, wabam you're done.

It really is a shame hearing how difficult things are going for id after their "integration" with Zenimax. Not sure which company is being difficult at this point though. It's always easy to jump and defend the developer of a game (id, in this case), but hopefully we'll learn more in the coming months. I'd really love to see DOOM 4 get made properly, by a team of people having a good time making it. Nothing sours a game more than knowing that it was made by a bunch of disgruntled employees.

Best of luck to all those involved with the project.

iD just needs to do what they do best; id Tech 5.5 as its being called will need to be mind blowing for the release of Doom 4 and iD said tha Quake 5 was to follow with the original Quake 1 "Cthulu" Theme back.
- I say Make Doom 4 a gorgeous gorgeous innovative game in terms of graphic engine (an engine that will sell) and add on a more of Quake 3 (or quake live) type of Multi-Player; expanisve and big in the E-sports market rather than how Doom 3's Multiplayer is / was. Single Player has many many options being "Hell on earth"; Carmack has never failed me yet and I hope these are mostly out of panic type of speculations.

I really dug RAGE.

DOOM 4 could be canceled and i'd be super OK with that...considering DOOM 1 and 2 are some of my favorite games ever and I play them all the time...

DOOM 3 as pretty good too...but not enough HELL in that game...

Doom is about one thing and one thing only; A single man blasting the crap out of anything that moves. It doesn't need heavily scripted sequences or vehicle combat. The devils and demons don't need to be the new "brown people". Just give us our BFGs, double barreled shotguns and chainsaws and let us do to the minions of Hell what we do best.

So another studio dies after being integrated into a bigger corporate structure. I really like id, the games(recently) were only OK but they make great tech and we should have more than one engine everybody uses

I have to point out id soft has always been like that. Internal conflicts and talent quitting or getting fired was always a part of id, at least since Doom. BTW Doom 3 was also shelved and restarted. Also they were working on something different before they finally started the final version of that game.

Actually as far as I know, Rage was the least problematic id game in this regard and apparently also the weakest. Maybe this company just needs the drama. Of course, hard to tell how much of id is there left. Who's left of the golden era guys besides Carmack and Willits?

Please get your shit together, ID. No one else out there makes a FPS game feel as alive and authentic as you. Also nobody else can deliver a better framerate/quality ratio.

I don't know how you fuck up Doom, but these guys are doing it.

Half-life is that girl we are constantly begging to put out, whereas Doom is the girl we won't even acknowledge until she puts out.

Here's to hoping you can pull it off, id. A modern return to formula could be very well what the shooter genre is asking for.

"When publisher ZeniMax finally inspected the game's progress, they discovered what id jokingly called "Call of Doom", a sequel containing heavy use of scripted sequences and an obligatory vehicle section."

Wow, this sounds like a game to them. That doesn't make me want to go near any version of the game when it releases! Also, I liked Rage. A little too "fetch quest" for me, but the shooting mechanics were solid!

Kotaku Article:
"Most of [Id's] top talent has left or been fired," said another unrelated source.

Given the state of things, this honestly would not surprise me.

"People referenced Call of Duty," said the source. "There were jokes like, 'Oh, it's Call of Doom.' They referenced it because of the amount it was scripted-there were a lot of scripted set pieces. There was kind of the recognition that in order to be a big shooter these days, you have to have some amount of the big, bombastic movie experience that people get pulled through."

So, shitty, hyper-linear level design could (and probably will) strike again.
You know what made the original Doom really damn fun? What sets it apart from a LOT of shooters that have come and gone since? Level design. It's impressive what that primitive engine could do, and what a good mapmaker can make with just its stock components.

Even if it was just due to the limitations of the tech of the day, Doom had color and personality to it while still being very "dark".

Instead of the painfully dull dust-n-metal backdrops of Rage, Quake 4 or Doom 3 before.

this sounds bad... i really hope this doesn't turn out to be Duke Nukem Forever... but from the sounds of things, it very well could be. I wouldn't be surprised, i don't really trust id anymore, which is sad. Doom II is my favorite FPS of all time. It seems easy to jump in and recreate the same magic of that game. Hell i would be fine with a remake of Doom I + II. at least if they did that maybe they could learn what Doom is all about. The stupid part about game development today is that there's hardly anyone in id that actually worked on the original Doom's. just a bunch of new graduates that wanna make Call of Doom.

We're all... Doomed.


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