For many gamers, if asked to recall their earliest and fondest first-person shooter memories, one of the games that would rise to the top is the original DOOM. Mixing sci-fi and horror, it paved the way for the years of shooter innovation that followed. With the series’ latest iteration, even though the franchise is steeped in a rich history, Bethesda is unsure as to whether the brand will be able to regain support from a generation of disappointed fans.
Following the release of a cinematic teaser trailer at E3 2014 for the next DOOM game, those who grew up with the franchise were unsurprisingly excited. Bethesda is set to provide QuakeCon attendees with a sneak peak of the title but for those outside of the bubble that houses DOOM‘s origins, is this reveal such a big deal? Approaching a decade since the series’ last major release, the series is hardly the household name that shooters like Call of Duty or Battlefield have become.
According to an interview with MCV (via OXM) Bethesda Vice-President of Marketing Peter Hines, Doom is not the recognizable name that it used to be. Hines likens this struggle to that of the Wolfenstein series, which saw a recent release with Wolfenstein: The New Order. He states that “Wolfenstein isn’t Uncharted,” but that thanks to its success (check out our review) the franchise has received a new lease on life. This is what he feels the upcoming Doom release needs to take note of:
“We are going in as if we need to prove ourselves all over again. We have no free passes. Nobody will assume this is going to be awesome.”
Having gone through a drastic shift part-way into its development cycle, it’s evident that Bethesda and id Software are intent on making this the strongest title that it can be; it can’t simply be a title for long-time fans if it hopes to succeed. Rather, it will require a step forward for the series while acknowledging its roots. This is evident in the fact that it will lean more towards the action of the first title, and less towards the horror elements of DOOM 3. Regardless, they will not be able to rest on their laurels as some modern established franchises are want to do.
“We are going to have to prove that this is something that’s going to be fun and different that you need to pay attention to. That has to be our default position, we can’t be: ‘It’s DOOM, of course you’re going to play it’. But that just makes us work harder.”
With reinventions of beloved game franchises coming dangerously close to movie tie-ins in terms of the source of gamer fears, it’s understandable that gamers will not blindly march forward into the unknown. A healthy dose of cautious optimism is necessary, and if Bethesda’s acknowledgement of needing the game to stand out – apart from its name – are any indication, this title could very well be on the right track.
With QuakeCon just under two weeks away from beginning, gamers should keep their eyes and ears open. The game will undoubtedly have a significant presence at the show and will provide better insight into what can be expected when the venerable FPS franchise returns to the marketplace.
Do you think the new DOOM will be able to find the same success that Wolfenstein: The New Order did? What would you like to see id Software do different with the franchise in this new iteration?
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Source: MCV (via OXM)