Doom Devs Talk Challenges of Rebooting the Series

The Doom series has been around for almost 22 years, and next year the fourth game in the series will launch. Instead of a direct sequel, though, it’s a reboot–and this has proven to be a challenge for developer id Software and publisher Bethesda.

GameSpot sat down with Bethesda’s VP of Marketing Pete Hines and id’s Executive Producer Marty Stratton at Quakecon to talk about the difficulties of making a new Doom game more than a decade after the last one, Doom 3, launched. They both talked about how it’s vitally important that the studio stays faithful to the series, while also making sure it stays competitive with modern shooters.

“Id hasn’t made a game in the current pantheon of first-person shooters,” Hines told us. “It’s not a part of that conversation. You can go to any sixteen-year-old at Quakecon and ask them what their favorite shooter is and they’re going to say Call of Duty and Battlefield and Halo, but not Doom, because why would they? We haven’t put out Doom games. So id has to deal with the challenge because we can’t walk in and say, ‘Hey, we’re making a Doom game,’ and everyone’s instantly on board. Id’s got to prove [itself] and prove how this is still true to Doom and still relevant to first-person shooters.”

Stratton stressed the necessity of being faithful to the legacy of Doom, saying that they approached the reboot with caution, especially after transitioning away from plans to make Doom 4. The team spent a lot of time analyzing what was good about each game in the series and trying to apply that to the new project. “It’s challenging,” he said. “We talked a lot to [Bethesda Game Director] Todd Howard and to the Bethesda team, because they went through the same thing when they were working on Fallout 3. You always want to respect the game and that fondness for it and what it means to people, but at the same time we’ve looked ahead with every decision and every idea. We know what [players are] here for, we know [they’re] here for a Doom game, we’re going to give [them] the best version of Doom.”

Stratton also remarked that it was crucial for his team to innovate and think about the future. He continued, “We let fun determine how decisions are made and what choices we make, not holding onto things from the past.”

Doom launches sometime in 2016 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. You can read our hands-on impressions of the game’s multiplayer mode here. At Quakecon, Stratton also told us that Doom’s multiplayer is not being built with esports in mind. Keep an eye on GameSpot all of this weekend for more news coming out of the event.

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Author: Alex Newhouse

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