Doom 4 was announced in 2008, five years later we are still in the dark about the progress of the game, fortunately Kotaku have investigated and have gotten to the bottom of the highly troubled development process over at Id Software on Doom 4, and it’s not good news.
It appears that development of Rage took priority over Doom 4 at Id Software, they were so focused on Rage and their new engine that Doom went unnoticed in the background.
“I kinda think maybe the studio heads were so distracted on shipping Rage that they were blind to the happenings of Doom, and the black hole of mediocrity [the team] was swirling around,” said a source.
“Rage came out, and it wasn’t the splash success that everyone hoped it would be, eventually what kind of came down was, ZeniMax said, ‘Okay, look, we gave you guys a bunch of chances and you guys are having a lot of trouble managing multiple projects, so you guys are gonna have one project: Just do Doom 4.’”
After the critical failure of Rage, focus changed to the development of Doom 4:
“[Studio leadership was] coming over and looking at Doom 4,” said another source, “and it was like, ‘Now that I’m actually looking at this after ignoring it for three years, I see a ton of things I want to change.’”
In 2011 after it became apparent that Doom 4 was not going in the right direction to be a success it was decided that the game was to be rebooted and that they would start from almost scratch, this time adapting from Rage.
Bethesda’s VP of Marketing told Kotaku: “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,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.”
Even after the reboot the development of Doom was not going well:
“Larger creature ambitions turned into mediocre garden variety behaviors, [The story] again became lame and unfit for a late night sci-fi channel, and the team didn’t feel a whole lot of ownership and contribution to the project. Cue the exodus of talent leaving ever since.”
“Most of [Id’s] top talent has left or been fired,” said another unrelated source. “It’s not going well, poor management, poor organization… [Id] just couldn’t nail down design… It’s just a mess. They’ll keep Doom 4 going, they really believe that if they can get the internal strife and disorganization ironed out, Doom 4 has a lot of value… What eventually emerges could be anyone’s guess.”
It’ll be very interesting to see what Doom 4 actually is when it comes out, but so far it doesn’t seem very promising. The development brings back memories of Duke Nukem Forever and we all know how that ended up…
I find it hard to believe that Id Software, former greats of the industry, are finding it difficult to put a game together, but maybe the modern style of video games has moved on faster than they can develop. They seem to be stuck in the past where games like Doom 1 and 2 ruled, hopefully they get it together and make it a compelling experience and not just another on-rails shooting gallery.
Let me know in the comments what you think of this whole situation.