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Bethesda: Doom 4 Was Sent Back to Drawing Board

By - Source: Kotaku | B 57 comments

As of 2011, id Software scrapped three years of Doom 4 development to start all over from scratch.

Oh my. This can't be good.

Id Software co-founder John Carmack announced that Doom 4 was on the way during QuakeCon 2007, and then made an official announcement a year later. So far there's no indication of when gamers will actually see the fourth installment on store shelves, and id Software is taking its usual "it's done when it's done" stance" as it has done throughout its career, backed by Bethesda's instance on keeping things quiet.

Development has gone into "Bethesda mode" according to a recent comment by Carmack, meaning nobody at Bethesda and id Software are saying a word about the game's progression. But Bethesda VP of Marketing and PR Pete Hines has finally broken the silence, admitting that there's more to the situation than just keeping the details under wraps.

Kotaku reports that the project has been plagued with mismanagement and a lack of communication for years, enough so that it has frustrated the staff at both id Software and parent company ZeniMax. The game also generated negative feedback, with some people referring to the shooter as "Call of Doom" because of the amount of scripted material. Many also thought it was mediocre due to the "shooting galleries of hordes of uninteresting enemies" peppered by interesting elements of horror and shock.

"The big thing [Id] tried to do was not seem like, 'Here’s a bunch of demons,'" one source said. "There was lots of concept art and prototype missions set up showing different parts of the earth being taken over, being warped and twisted into a hellish reimagining... It’s not just the demons: everything around you is changing. Humans are starting to struggle to go through an environment that is partially familiar, partially unknown now."

Sound familiar? The Doom 4 team supposedly wanted to follow the same paved road id Software took with Doom 3 in creating a reimagining of the original, classic shooter (Doom). This time the team was overhauling Doom 2's storyline, hence the "Hell on Earth" scenarios we previously saw in leaked screenshots.

But the Doom studio and Bethesda reportedly agreed to abandon this early version of the game the team had developed for three years, and re-double their efforts on a new "rebooted" version, beginning in 2011. The screenshots leaked in late February 2012 were long out of date before they even hit the internet, sources said. Bummer.

"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 admitted. "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."

The story continues from here, a very long one which Kotaku unfolds in a rather lengthy, revealing read. Essentially the project was ignored while Bethesda and id Software pushed Rage out the door. Once that was done, id's management took a look at what the Doom 4 team had done over the last three years and saw a ton of things that needed to change. The answer? Start over from scratch.

"It was a very long overdue reboot that was accompanied by internal team management changes," one source said. "Morale got a lot better during this short time as people were encouraged to participate and there were cool ideas floating around."

The Doom 4 team was asked what Doom meant for them. Carmack said two things: demons and guns. Still, can you smell that? It smells like Duke Nukem Forever in the air all over again. But let's hope for better results.

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Top Comments
  • 26 Hide
    lpedraja2002 , April 3, 2013 8:03 PM
    At least they're giving us details... unlike Valve and Half-life 3!
Other Comments
  • 26 Hide
    lpedraja2002 , April 3, 2013 8:03 PM
    At least they're giving us details... unlike Valve and Half-life 3!
  • -4 Hide
    notsleep , April 3, 2013 8:35 PM
    please ditch doom and give us elder scrolls 6 and fallout 4. :) 

    i spend more time with skyrim than any other game. :p 
  • Display all 57 comments.
  • 5 Hide
    aggroboy , April 3, 2013 8:38 PM
    What would Doom fans want though... A fast acrobatic gunfight with large number of enemies onscreen? A tense dark corridor survival horror? A scripted story-driven spectacle war shooter?
  • 6 Hide
    hotsacoman , April 3, 2013 8:39 PM
    lpedraja2002At least they're giving us details... unlike Valve and Half-life 3!


    About HL3. A friend of a friend works at Valve and they ARE working on it. So look forward :) 
  • 4 Hide
    atminside , April 3, 2013 8:46 PM
    I guess the PS4 surprised them. They probably were making some lack luster current gen console Doom game like a Rage and was caught off guard by the announcement of the PS4 and then decided to scrap the game and start over and building the game based on PS4 specs.....this means no baked in textures like the sky....cough cough rage and no more megatexture ha ha ahhhh chewwwww rage!!!!!!!!!!
  • 2 Hide
    volkov956 , April 3, 2013 9:10 PM
    We will get Fallout er Elder er Doom Scrolls or something more aless open ended doom...
  • 2 Hide
    walter87 , April 3, 2013 9:12 PM
    atminsideI guess the PS4 surprised them. They probably were making some lack luster current gen console Doom game like a Rage and was caught off guard by the announcement of the PS4 and then decided to scrap the game and start over and building the game based on PS4 specs.....this means no baked in textures like the sky....cough cough rage and no more megatexture ha ha ahhhh chewwwww rage!!!!!!!!!!

    I don't think that's the case.
    They had started work back in 2007, and then later scrapped and restarted around 2011 it seems.
    I don't think they were caught off guard by the news of PS4, afterall Sony made a point that they got input from various developers when designing their latest console (thus I suspect Id were already well aware of future consoles) and why they scrapped the original game to focus on nextgen.

    Its good to see some developers still care about making quality games and our willing to scrap ideas and retry. I know a few that would just say "meh, close enough' well and release what they got anyway :) 
  • 3 Hide
    dark_knight33 , April 3, 2013 9:49 PM
    hotsacomanAbout HL3. A friend of a friend works at Valve and they ARE working on it. So look forward


    Who cares if they are working on it if they never deliver? Valve has done a great, great job with steam -- far better than I had ever suspected. It's also made them extremely lazy as a development house. The source engine is nearing a decade old. L4D & L4D2 are fun, but not anywhere near HL2 in terms of quality. The Episodes were a good, but also half-assed attempt that was never followed up on. HL & HL2 were great games, but from a completely different era of gaming. The landscape has changed so much, I'm not sure HL3 would be as well received as it would have been say, 4 years ago. Valve needs to either spin off the development house, or Steam, so at least one team can focus on making games again. FWIW, Portal is a fun, but quirky game, and still no where near HL in terms of depth of game play; it's a casual puzzler.
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , April 3, 2013 10:05 PM
    I like the Event Horizon mod/game that runs on Doom3. Great movie, great game
  • 0 Hide
    Afrospinach , April 3, 2013 10:17 PM
    Quote:
    Still, can you smell that? It smells like Duke Nukem Forever in the air all over again.


    I thought DNFs big problem was never being able to let go of anything, under Broussard its development history reads like it was supposed to be the final word in gaming. New engine? gotta have it, internet connectivity from in game monitors? likewise. If they had scrapped it and refocused we probably would have had it almost a decade ago. Sounds like the opposite tac to me.
  • 4 Hide
    bebangs , April 3, 2013 10:44 PM
    smells like "Aliens: Colonial Marines".

    better not to release it, rebuild from scratch, i can wait.
  • -1 Hide
    rjandric , April 3, 2013 10:54 PM
    In my opinion Valve's HL series is way above doom and anything id have released so far. id games are tech demos, no real story whatsoever, and when they try it seems a bit forced (rage). It is time for them to hire screenwriter and go from there. Make it interesting, instead of knowing that theres another burning corpse waiting after next corner.
  • -1 Hide
    billcat479 , April 3, 2013 11:57 PM
    I think they got the name right with the add on twist of the Rage because the people that are trying to make it are in a rage and the game is Doomed to never make it to the stores.... It's a funny way to look at it anyway. Doom4, and how many times was it scraped and started over. If it was 4 times than it fits in the area of weirdness. Reminds me of Apollo 13 in a way huh???
  • 0 Hide
    echondo , April 4, 2013 12:05 AM
    As long as they're being honest and know what we want then take all the time in the world! Just make sure it's not another DNF or Diablo 3 fiasco!

    Can't wait for Fallout 4 either! Bethesda does great work and their games are fantastic! My hats go off to you guys over at Id, Obsidian, Arkane, Bethesda Development, and every other developer for Bethesda publishing!
  • -1 Hide
    slomo4sho , April 4, 2013 12:23 AM
    Needless to say, Doom is doomed.
  • 1 Hide
    cRACKmONKEY421 , April 4, 2013 1:03 AM
    I hope it's more along the lines of the first and second quakes and dooms. Simplified with weapons and focused on gameplay. No ranks and bazillions of guns, perks, and bs. Just a balanced fair set of ass kicking weapons.
  • 1 Hide
    DXRick , April 4, 2013 1:19 AM
    It seems that for each next installment of a franchise, the time to create it doubles.
  • 2 Hide
    Undertuned , April 4, 2013 1:39 AM
    DXRickIt seems that for each next installment of a franchise, the time to create it doubles.


    Except Assassins Creed, where it halves.
  • 3 Hide
    heero yuy , April 4, 2013 2:19 AM
    i think its good that they ditched and restarted
    it means they realised what they were doing was not going to be all that good so they decided to sacrifice money to make the end result a better experience
    it also means they might be making it more for current and next gen hardware unlike duke nukem where they just tried to update the visuals to the current generation but didn't quite make it
  • 1 Hide
    blubbey , April 4, 2013 2:39 AM
    Much rather them take a lot longer and possibly deliver a (much) better product than give no fucks and release some terrible game. Plus it will probably be on the next gen consoles so it should look a good bit better hopefully.
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