The Development Hell of Doom 4

Kotaku's Jason Schreier has an interesting-but-sad look at Doom 4, a game that doesn't seem anywhere close to completion after five years of development.

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Jared Newman / TIME.com

Kotaku’s Jason Schreier has an interesting-but-sad look at Doom 4, a game that doesn’t seem anywhere close to completion after five years of development:

I’ve talked to four people with connections to the Id Software-developed game, and they’ve described a studio plagued by mismanagement and lack of communication that has frustrated staff both at Id and Id’s parent company, ZeniMax (whose main branch Bethesda is the publisher of Doom 4 and a number of other games, including The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim).

We’ve also learned that in late 2011, after working on Doom 4 for three years, the studio behind the legendary series decided to reboot their newest game completely. Bethesda confirmed this to Kotaku yesterday.

The original Doom, released in 1993, is one of the greatest games of all time. Even today, the action holds up remarkably well, but it also seems like a relic. I’m not aware of any modern shooters that surround you with slow-moving projectiles, allowing you to bob and weave between them while returning fire at anything that happens to be in the way. But that’s basically what Doom was.

None of the other things that made Doom remarkable in the early 1990s–the frights, the level of violence, the graphics–are novel anymore. All that remains is that foundation of trigger-happy action. Could a new Doom build on that experience? I don’t know, and maybe that’s what Id is having so much trouble figuring out.

At least Id co-founder John Carmack still gets it:

At one point, a source told me, the Doom 4 team had a big meeting in which company leaders talked about what Doom meant to them. John Carmack got up in front of everyone and said something like, “Doom means two things: demons and shotguns.”

The rest of the story’s worth a read if you’re interested in how game development can go wrong.

Five Years And Nothing To Show: How Doom 4 Got Off Track [Kotaku]

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