Damnation: Doom 4 Delayed Indefinitely?

By Jim Rossignol on October 21st, 2011 at 9:18 am.

Happy update: Bethesda’s Pete Hines says this rumour is “complete bollocks.” Hooray! Plus, additional denial.

This is pure rumour, but the Big K are reporting that a source inside Bethesda told them the company has made the decision to “indefinitely postpone” development of Doom 4. This move, made at a recent meeting in Dallas, apparently comes as a response to general disappointment with Rage, which was buggy on release and earned review scores of a less than 8/10 average (gasp!)

The story says that the issues surrounding Rage’s launch have resulted in “a serious lack of confidence in the project management at id”. This might be nonsense, of course, but it’s believable nonsense. That said, I am not sure why the company would deny id Doom 4, which seems like a game that would sell no matter how it was managed. Also, Rage seems to be doing okay in the charts, and we all know that it’s money, not review scores, that talk.

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95 Comments »

  1. thatcity says:

    great id,keep on saying that you don’t put too much resources on the pc,keep on release buggy games,and this is (maybe) what you get..you was the better time ago…

    • Phinor says:

      Could you remind me what bugs there were at the launch of Rage? I’ve actually asked this from multiple people stating the same but I have never got an answer.

    • simonh says:

      There were terrible graphics bugs, in particular on Radeon cards, and the graphics optimization was poorly configured resulting in the worst texture-popping ever seen, even on cards that had plenty of RAM. Also there wasn’t a proper graphics settings menu.

      RPS on the issue

    • Shadowcat says:

      My understanding is that MOST of the ATI issues were NOT due to bugs in Rage, but rather due to ATI screwing up the accompanying video driver release. I’ve also seen a lot of comments about how this was really Id’s fault, but frankly that’s a load of bull.

      Firstly, all PC games depend upon the correct functioning of other software outside of the control of the developers; and secondly, AAA game release dates are scheduled way in advance: the global retail release of Rage was not going to be postponed, and ATI were obviously supposed to make the correct driver available to all their customers in time for that event, and they screwed it up.

      I’m sure both companies have since wondered why the drivers weren’t finalised slightly sooner, and then verified by everyone involved before the public release, but none of that makes the game buggy.

      I gather there’s been a patch to fix some actual flaws since then, which certainly isn’t ideal, but also isn’t unusual, and doesn’t really make them any worse than the majority of their competition.

    • Stepout says:

      @Shadowcat id said that all of their “in house” drivers ran the game fine. Well, who cares, because obviously those drivers weren’t what the rest of the world was using. The launch definitely made id look dumb.

    • Shadowcat says:

      For sure it did, but it wasn’t because of bugs in the game, and it wasn’t directly Id’s fault. Their “in house” drivers were undoubtedly a pre-release version of the one that ATI was supposed to release, but didn’t.

    • Thany says:

      as an ATi (AMD) 5850 owner I can say that both parties are to blame. the 3 second freeze was a driver fault, but the monstrous texture pop-in was ID’s with their shitty auto configure. after the first patch came with more graphics options I could switch to large cache and it got solved.

      as usual the truth is somewhere in the middle :)

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      It was their fault for going ahead with the release when the drivers weren’t ready. The drivers they targeted, and the release date were under id’s/Zenimax’s control. The fault lies primarily with them.

    • evenflowjimbo says:

      I don’t care who is to blame. I’m not gonna like anyone that talks down my PC buddy!!!!!!!!!

      Extra exclamation marks for the seriousness of it.

    • MattM says:

      The problems I experienced at launch
      1. The graphics auto adjust was broken resulting in the worst textures and constant texture popping
      2. The FOV was so narrow as to give me a headache.
      3. Mouse was a bit laggy
      Patches and config editing fixed most of this although some textures are still distractingly bad.

  2. Taidan says:

    Maybe they’re going to take some time out to play some games that were made in the last 10 years?

    Y’know, get some ideas in, see what other innovations have happened in the gaming world while they’ve been locked in their bubble?

  3. Captchist says:

    Franchise no longer relevant.

    Also, after Duke Nukem Forever, probably best just to set it’s 1990s contemporaries to the side for a while.

    • Ghil says:

      DNF was a moderate success with a follow-up already in production.
      yes it’s a bad game, but a lot of people didn’t see it like us.

    • Eclipse says:

      I beg to differ, DNF was an awesome game even if journalists loved to hate it (partly because most of them never really played DN3D imo or weren’t able to catch the most subtle references imo)

    • MuscleHorse says:

      Eclipse, you can’t be serious. It was worse than bad in that it was mediocre.

    • Mman says:

      “partly because most of them never really played DN3D imo”

      Playing DN3D before DNF just makes it obvious how much worse the latter is.

    • Jimbo says:

      DNF was only successful in the sense that Gearbox didn’t have to carry much of the development cost. I don’t think its sales would have recovered a typical 2 year dev budget, let alone however much was actually spent on it over the last 30 years or however long it was.

      Of course, a Duke Nukem game made from scratch by Gearbox should be a much better game than DNF, but I’m still not convinced it will prove successful.

    • abigbat says:

      There were subtle references?

    • MrTambourineMan says:

      The best reference ever seen in video gaming history was in this map in DNF that was like a western village when Duke Nukem says : “It’s a hell of a thing killing a pig” (reference to Unforgiven).

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      “The best reference ever seen in video gaming history…”
      The best ever? Really?

      You need to play more games….

  4. Rao Dao Zao says:

    “This game is not very good.”
    “We will never make games again! Waaah!”

    Would rather have Quake 5 anyway.

  5. Ghil says:

    if they don’t do a Doom, which is their better chance at making a successful game, what would they do? Rage 2? o.O

    Unless they take id and make them the tech company for the whole of Bethesda. those guys know how to make engines, it would be fitting to transform them from a dev house to a pure tech house.

    • Andrei Sebastian says:

      That’s a really good point.
      I think ID is having serious some serious upper management issues (Zenimax maybe?), because this is one of the stupidest possible reactions to Rage’s failure.

      If there is a game that could put ID back up with the best and do justice to the legacy, Doom 4 is definitely it. So instead of stupidly reacting “oh noes, we have to stop making games”, the proper next step should be to put all efforts into creating an impressive game this time around and listen to their fans / supporters opinions.

      However, on the transforming of ID into a pure tech house idea I don’t agree at all. It would simply be a shame, for a studio that is clearly capable. Some poor decisions made in some key areas – mainly their wrong approach towards Rage (fake open world) – shouldn’t bring down a whole studio. It’s the fault of the high expectations really, Rage still being quite a solid game and way out of the comfort zone of ID (they should at least get credit fo that).

    • dazman76 says:

      @Ghil – possibly Quake 5, although I have no idea what kind of game that would be, as Quake changed so much over it’s life. I personally have to admit that the game I think of when I say I love Quake, is indeed Quake 1.

      The idea of id being tech-only engine developers sat well with me, at least before Rage came along. This is because, hand on heart, I do not believe id can live up to their old reputation for games – because the gamer’s expectations have advanced (subjective!), while id’s idea of games has not advanced much, if at all. As I mentioned though, after the Rage launch I’m not even sure their engines live up to expectations any more – I’m quite disappointed with id Tech 5 on PC, that’s for sure.

    • PoulWrist says:

      Rage is a “failure”? I’d say it’s one of the more enjoyable games of the year, only marring in it is the focus on the towns and talking. Take away that stuff, put in a couple better, more interesting and branching levels, more sprawling levels, and put some more varied encounters in there with MORE enemies, yes, please.
      I always wondered why we didn’t get more composite encounters. Like we had in the original Doom games. Mixed melee and ranged instahit and ranged projectile enemies… Rage has them all, it just doesn’t throw enough of them at you at the same time.

      And well, the regenerative health. The cool idea with the bring-back-to-life thing is sort of washed out by that bit. So, Doom 4 with stuff like the self-defibrilator and Rage’s general gameplay, but more Doom’y encounters and I’d be really happy.

    • Britney.S says:

      @ PoulWrist
      “I’d say it’s one of the more enjoyable games of the year, only marring in it is the focus on the towns and talking. Take away that stuff, put in a couple better, more interesting and branching levels, more sprawling levels, and put some more varied encounters in there with MORE enemies, yes, please.”

      So, basically start over and make an entirely different and improved new game?

      As it stands now, if you were to take out the nice graphics that are impressive here and there,what would you be left with?
      Answer: a boring, shallow, piece of shit embarassment of a game. (A CONSOLE GAME for CONSOLE GAMERS).
      (god i feel sorry for you if you really thought rage was one of the years more enjoyable games)

    • Deuteronomy says:

      Britney it must suck to have no soul (or maybe it’s merely defective). Rage is by far and away the best FPS released this year.

  6. diebroken says:

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

    (But then again, it’s ‘news’ taken with a big grain of salt…)

  7. node says:

    This would be a real shame. From the hints about Doom 4 it sounded closer to the originals than the bland Doom 3. Plus turning id into a pure engine house would see a lot of talented people lose their jobs, I think that’d be a sad result all round.

    And why is Rage deemed a failure? I guess ultimately it’s down to sales, but it’s a visually stunning game and I’m enjoying the hell out of it, lots of great little touches. Definitely underrated already.

    • Ghil says:

      We can’t know what happened, because as far as I know, there’s no place to get the real numbers. If RAGE cost 300 millions to make and made only 50m in sales, It’s a huge flop. 6 years of dev must be costy for a game that doesn’t have a great sales momentum. but all of this is speculation, since no one publishes those numbers.

    • figvam says:

      And why is Rage deemed a failure? I guess ultimately it’s down to sales, but it’s a visually stunning game and I’m enjoying the hell out of it, lots of great little touches. Definitely underrated already.

      Unfortunately, apart from the stunning visuals, the game content falls apart. The fighting locations are too few, the fights are too few and far in between. There is a ridiculous amount of repetition: you clear the location once, you get a quest to clear it again. Lame!

      It almost seems that the focus on megatexture forced to pour too much resources into the artistic side of the content, at the expense of gameplay (and fun).

    • Milky1985 says:

      “Unfortunately, apart from the stunning visuals, the game content falls apart. The fighting locations are too few, the fights are too few and far in between. There is a ridiculous amount of repetition: you clear the location once, you get a quest to clear it again. Lame!”

      Yeah this as annoying, and before people pipe up “well its only sidequests”, one of the story quests was to go to a location where you had been for a story quest and do it backwards (with different enemies but still), they referenced it in an achivement but I still couldn’t believe they did it.

    • dazman76 says:

      Visually stunning? Is it really? :) I’m wondering how many people out there have 1.5GB video cards, somewhat jealously I’ll admit! I have 1280MB on my GTX 470, and although most of the distant details look excellent, there’s so much badly-textured stuff up close – mostly flat, simple geometry – that I could never call it stunning. I tried the .cfg tweaks to see if I could enjoy 8K textures before my GPU driver gave up, but the latest patch seems to have clamped down on that – I’ve been able to reduce texture popping somewhat, but cannot raise the texture detail at all. Things like beds, simple doors, flat walls – all look like 2005 with a 2011 distant background :)

      When Arkham City is released, I think we’ll all see just how good a sprawling, (somewhat) open world should look on modern hardware. id Tech 5 is definitely not the next-gen engine that Carmack has been pushing it as – and I really never thought I’d say that :)

    • figvam says:

      The textures are indeed disappointing at the close-up, but the overall level design and especially lightning is really excellent in some places (Distilling Factory for example).

      Note that even with the low resolution textures, the game weighs so much. I’m wondering if megatexture technology has any strengths apart from the freedom of creating the unique textures by the artists. Let’s see, the resulting data files are huge, it’s slow to update when the player is turning fast (texture streaming!), there is an apparent lack of destructable environment and dynamic lightning. Anything else?

    • skinlo says:

      @dazman76

      The engine itself is reasonably ‘next gen’, its the textures that are low resolution.

  8. ran93r says:

    Doom 3 was a snoozefest when held up against it’s peers “oh no, something has spawned behind me, again”, so I was never holding out much hope for D4, especially after reading about how Rage turned out.

    I haven’t checked out Rage but there isn’t really anything there which makes me want to.

    • Prime says:

      Poor old Doom 3. It wasn’t actually a bad game, per se, it just suffered a bit from IDs prior legacy of spectacular, genre-defining shooters. Doom 3 was the first time iD demonstrated some critical weaknesses in their design – the torch thing being a classic example of theoretically having a logical gameplay reason but in reality it forgot or ignored the simple logic of duct tape and went on to annoy most of the player-base who all pointed at Aliens in a mass movement of “Wtf?”. The thoroughly predictable scares also felt cheap and unworthy of iD. Let’s not forget that by the point of D3′s release shooters were already evolving past the simple Doom formula – System Shock, Thief, Deus Ex…all were showing that FPSs could be more than simple run-and-gun-fests. Consequently Doom 3, in moving away from the franchise’s classic monster spamming magic into decidedly generic, formulaic territory, felt rather quaint from the word go.

    • PoulWrist says:

      Also nonsense, because Doom 4 was always said to be a return to Doom 1 and 2.

    • ran93r says:

      “saying” and “doing” are two different things. They can feel free to prove me wrong but I find it hard to believe that in this day and age, a tech5 remake of Doom 2 would be anything more than a novelty with a £40 price tag.

  9. Milky1985 says:

    “That said, I am not sure why the company would deny id Doom 4, which seems like a game that would sell no matter how it was managed…”

    Really?

    Lots of people thought doom 3 was a bunch of crap (id showing a massive lack of idea of common sense with the stupid “use the light OR use the gun, not both because your a hard space marine who doesn’t need to see what hes shooting”).

    This is followed up by RAGE where the guys basically flipped the bird to the PC crowd that has support them through thick and thin. Bought out a game with technical issues (because apaprently no-one in id’s QA team thought that maybe testing the machine on CURRENT RELEASE DRIVERS would be a good idea) and a lack of options then said that “it doesn’t matter, we don’t know why you don’t like our autodetection of your hardware , it always works, except when it doesn’t).

    RAGE a game with a effectievly fake open world (with doors that you can never open that look like they should have opened at some point), driven by megatexture technology that limits things like lighting. And speaking of driving has some quite bad driving focus in the game (imo anyway) .

    RAGE a game with very good shooting , that gets terrible later on due to making it harder by simply giving everything stupid ammounts of health (and a inexplicable resistance to headshots even at the start), of course this is harder unless you use the game breaking mechinic of the wingsticks.

    RAGE a game with an AWFUL end “boss” (hint, there isn;t one by true modern day standards its a press buttons hold against a follow of enemies), and a ending that makes the crysis ends look good.

    Personally i can see why they would at the very least want to take a look at the development of the game since lots of people would buy a game based on teh legacy, which has been shattered a bit recently (i’m one of the casulties)

    • PoulWrist says:

      The harder by more hitpoints is not at all stupid. It’s a game, after all, not a simulation. They make the mistake of not having enough enemies.

      Doom 4 was never said to be anything like Doom 3, but a return to 1 and 2.

    • Milky1985 says:

      “The harder by more hitpoints is not at all stupid. It’s a game, after all, not a simulation.”

      Adding more hitpoints is fine, as you say its a game, but that is ALL they did to make it more difficult.

      Normally you add more hit points and add new abilities, new tactics , new weapon types (as you couldn’t pick up enemy weapons, which is somethign that still confuses me in a game about scavaging, it would make sense if you are going to go that route to have enemy only weapons) and stuff like that.

      Doing nothing else but making them take repeated shots to the head (but oddly a wingstick still a 1 hit KO) seems a bit lazy to me, doesn;t add to the fun or challenge, just the frustration.

    • RichardFairbrass says:

      I found the excessive health was only annoying in a brief section in the middle of the game, between the enemies being weak and you getting access to better ammo. Upgrade to fat mammas, pop rockets and dynamite bolts and the enemies are actually way too easy to pop. The authority pulse gun thing was also hugely over powered, it had no down sides whatsoever.

  10. Radiant says:

    Are Id an echo chamber?

    I mean they’re out there in the middle of nowhere.
    Where do they get their ideas and inspiration from?
    What’s their staff turnover like?
    Who challenges them externally and internally?

    Everyone who saw any promotional videos of Rage over the years had the same feelings and questions Sheffield had yet they couldn’t see it themselves?

  11. Eclipse says:

    I’m a big fan of Doom and my favourite shooter ever is Quake 1. So I’m a fan of the original ID software.
    But I have to say a new Doom would have almost surely sucked, like that awful Doom 3. So there’s no great loss. I still have to play Rage, looks like a good game, but nothing near the golden age of Quake 1.

    Rest in peace Doomguy, my old friend, your war is finally over.

  12. phenom_x8 says:

    pfftt… poor id, it looks like Rage didnt sell well on console !
    Carmack put its hope too high at console, but sadly there’s no room for average game like Rage to be sold well on console! Remember, your true fans will always wait beside its rig!

    Sign of another layoffs (after 17 years)?? I hope not !

    • DrGonzo says:

      No. Average games sell by the bucket load on console. The problem is it wasn’t a 3rd person cover shooter/modern warfare clone. Rage is definetely the most underrated game this year. I’m amazed and annoyed how many people here are passing judgement without having played it on this very site.

    • Jimbo says:

      I’ve played it – it’s like a shooter version of Dragon Age 2. Competent gameplay with a lot of padding and a lot of recycled content (and that’s ignoring the whole PC release debacle). It isn’t bad, it’s just very run of the mill.

      I really don’t see what you’re seeing that makes you feel it’s underrated. If anything, the 80-85 MC score seems a little on the generous side to me. I think a fair chunk of that is down to id’s reputation.

    • phenom_x8 says:

      @DrGonzo

      That’s the problem, there’s too many average game on console so that RAGE are passable because its just another average shooter ( I guess console crowd just get bore of it).

      Personally, I think RAGE are acceptable game for PC gamer like us because it’s still enjoyable without too much story driven event ala COD (that always become the main selling point for console crowd nowadays)! Its a little like STALKER where we can determine our own pace without any assistance given by the game itself! And I guess, we always love that kind of thing, right??

    • Kadayi says:

      Albeit there are early teething problems I really like the look and feel of RAGE, however the faux open world nature of it is rather frustrating. Your inability to clamber over low rocks and obstacles due to invisi-o force fields everywhere (plus locked door syndrome) really detracts from the overall atmosphere. Personally I’d like to see the actual tech used in other games, but the lack of day/night cycle and dynamic lighting does kind of limit its potential for pick up really.

    • othello says:

      Rage was quite fun on the pc… once I got it working. I think id was too focused on getting the CoD console audience when developing Rage. The problem is, Rage is deeper than CoD but a lot shallower than most games PC gamers play. So basically it ended up in the middle ground where neither side really though it was amazing.

  13. Robin says:

    lol @ everlasting doom3 bashparty.

    I didn’t think id could churn out a “true” doom, but the final death of the franchise would be “what a shame” worthy.

  14. killmachine says:

    they should just create a simple multiplayer shooter like tf2. stick to the very basics. put this into the “id” universe. combine both doom and quake, sell doom space marine helmets and make a fortune.

    id prooved twice that they cannot deliver a (modern) immersive singleplayer experience. they can however create a shooter that just feels awsome. and they have an incredible art department.

    take what you are good at and build up from there. give us back the corridors, we don’t need a fake open world, no matter how beautiful it looks. give us something where we can shoot each other in the face. give us a modern quake 3 arena with classes, more gamemodes, items and progression. that’s how it works nowadays.

    • Godsmith says:

      @killmachine

      Isn’t this what Quake Wars tried to do and failed at?

    • DrGonzo says:

      Doom 4 should be based around coop. I always think of doom as a coop game.

    • killmachine says:

      @Godsmith, quake wars is the sequel to wolfenstein enemy territory. and it just didn’t have the id feeling. also, it’s more based around vehicle combat. so, something completely different that what made it so popular.

    • Milky1985 says:

      “quake wars is the sequel to wolfenstein enemy territory. and it just didn’t have the id feeling”

      Quake wars was made by splash damage, not id anyway.

      It did use id technology, an earlier version of the megatexture tech.

  15. Srethron says:

    Doesn’t it almost seem like this has more to do with a new lack of confidence in the Rage engine? Doom 4 is probably not the issue. Doom 4 on id Tech 5 might be, now that we have all stepped back and surveyed the engine. As engines go, it’s starting to seem more and more of a curious detour rather than a step forward. Either way, sad news. I want id to make amazing games again.

  16. Strangineer says:

    Very much doubt this, all Bethesda games have a huge bout of issues on release(I doubt Skyrim will be different), and it’s much too early to have a meeting about the success or not of Rage. How long has it been out? 2 weeks? Sounds like rumors to me.

  17. Davie says:

    That’s odd. I haven’t played Rage myself, but aside from the ridiculous ATI bug I haven’t heard much at all in the way of complaints. Seems a stupid move to me.

    • PoulWrist says:

      Rage makes a few mistakes, like focusing too much on a nonsense story that is not at all involved in the game, and the driving sequences. Level design is also pretty so-so. It’s taking way too many modern queues and trying to fit awesome, oldschool gameplay in there.
      I so wish that Rage had been more a corridor shooter, or more like old games. They put the game in this smashed up environment, where they can do pretty much whatever with the level design, and they do, artistically. But the actual levels are mostly never more than a meter or two wide, with an open area here and there for a fight. But everything is just a string of encounters. You do not have the sense of rising peril like in Doom 1&2, where you just rush further and further into crazier and crazier things, always able to hear a new group of enemies around the corner, or if there’s silence know there are bound to be ones iminent.
      Exploration is almost nonexisting. If you spend time doing it, you are not rewarded. Except that it looks like there are a very few completely bizarely hidden secret rooms, like, 2-3 in the entire game.

      They have some very, very odd design decisions in Rage, but the base gameplay is superb. I wish so much that I could play more of that, without the story, without the stupid vehicles, without the waiting. Just, shoot and kill stuff, with those glorious physics and animations.

  18. MuscleHorse says:

    I had a gut feeling that Bethesda’s ownership of id would lead to the breaking up of the company. This feels like a step in that direction. There hasn’t been an id release that I haven’t enjoyed (yes, even Doom 3 – switching between weapon and flashlight was a tension raising mechanic and the game was not Doom 1/2) and I was really looking forward to their revisiting the old franchise. Then, it hardly surprises me that the management behind Bethesda is essentially ruled by a Metacritic rating. They’re a prime example of bland to appease a mass-market. Despite the lushness of their worlds, the gameplay tends to be dreadful and requires a metric-ton of modifications before being playable.

    • Prime says:

      “…yes, even Doom 3 – switching between weapon and flashlight was a tension raising mechanic and the game was not Doom 1/2…”

      Their greatest mistake. Call it Doom but make it play nothing like the other Dooms. It had more in common with Quake.

      The tension-raising mechanic part of it is well understood; unfortunately anyone who had seen the film ‘Aliens’ understood a logic that was clearer and infinitely smarter than the switching mechanic – duct tape. When your design choices work for the game but looks really bloody stupid for everyone else – and frustrates them while playing because the solution is so teeth-grindingly obvious – it’s time to rethink that design choice. Hell, Aliens even had lights on the helmet cams so the marines could see what they were firing at. Basic, basic stupidity on iD’s part, sacrificing intelligence for game design; they deserved the kicking they got for it.

  19. hamster says:

    Can’t really blame ‘em. If ID wanted to go modern they should have gone the Modern Warfare route – huge, engaging set pieces, choreography, interesting enemies – you know. Instead we ended up with Q4. I really thought it would be like a futuristic COD 2 (or 4). Instead it was a corridor shooter. I mean these guys have this awesome graphics engine so why the hell does COD have all the staggering set pieces but the ID games have jack all? Seems like to me their approach to making the q4 or even doom 3 is simply to stick stupid enemies inside of levels the player runs through. C’mon, man. This ain’t the 80′s.

    • killmachine says:

      quake 4 is by raven, not id.

    • PoulWrist says:

      I like to think that when you post on the Internet, you should at least have some knowledge of what you’re talking about. But TS here is doinghis best to destroy that thesis :|

  20. jezcentral says:

    I will remain unmoved until I hear some facts.

  21. oceanclub says:

    “a serious lack of confidence in the project management at id”

    I wonder is anyone in Bethesda annoyed at Carmack’s “PR” solo run where he said it wasn’t their fault Rage didn’t run properly on PCs and besides, they don’t care about PC gamers anyway?

    P.

  22. Very Real Talker says:

    let’s be honest here, with the scoring inflation in the press, an 8 is the equivalent of a 6… while the 9 includes all the possible scores in the range of 7-10. An 8 is a failure, especially for a big project like rage- how many money, years, and resources have they spent to develop that game?

  23. bill says:

    I don’t think a Doom4 would sell especially well. Bethesda is definitely a multi-platform focused company, and Doom doesn’t have the brand recognition on consoles and with young people. Even on PC, Doom3 (while ok) probably diluted the brand a lot).

    Old IPs are funny things… sometimes they can capture imagination and spur lots of sales. (Bioshock, and er… Human Revolution?)… but often they are too old to get many current games excited. (perfect dark zero, DNF, etc…).

    Not guaranteed sales by a long shot.

  24. BreadBitten says:

    Huh?! I thought Rage did quite well financially?

    • sneetch says:

      Well, ultimately that depends on how much the game cost to make. Rage was in development for what? Four or five years? I don’t know how many people worked on it or what the sales were like so I can’t say how well it did financially but I wouldn’t be surprised if it hasn’t been hugely profitable yet.

  25. JackDandy says:

    Man, that’s too bad.
    Maybe id will learn a lesson from it, though. I just hope Doom 4 isn’t completely out of the picture…

  26. Arutha says:

    I just wanted to make a few points that no one else seems to have made explicit yet.

    While we tend to still think of id software as still a small-ish, indie-ish developer, they were bought by Zenimax (parent company of Bethesda Games Studios, etc) over 2 years ago now, and they currently employ 200+ people. They haven’t actually released anything for SEVEN YEARS since Doom 3 came out. Without an exact figure, we can only guess that these guys blew a pretty absurd amount of money on this project. According to VGChartz (of dubious accuracy, but the best we have to my knowledge) RAGE will be struggling to get many more than 1 million sales worldwide. Honestly, that’s pretty terrible for a game that cost as much as RAGE probably did.

    Fact of the matter is, id software really need to justify their existence at this point, as they have become increasingly irrelevant to gaming over the last decade, since they started taking half a decade or more to make a 10 hour game. They haven’t made an actually decent game since Quake 3 which was released 12 YEARS AGO (unless you happen to like wandering around in the dark while enemies spawn in behind you; oh, scary!) .

    RAGE, in my opinion, falls in a really uncomfortable spot. It is under ambitious, in that it hasn’t really done much of anything that we haven’t seen before, and yet overly ambitious in that a lot of what they have tried to do has been poorly executed, anyway (reference horrible engine, repetitive game design, false freedom, stagnant game world, sub-par texturing, the whole wont-run-on-ATI thing etc, etc). I am well aware that RAGE has some good ideas and work put into it, but all the faults will have doubtless chased away many sales, especially on PC (not helped by Carmack’s tireless efforts to alienate PC gamers). Not to mention that here in NZ it costs $89USD on steam. Gogo regional pricing :/

    It is a bit early to say anything about this really, but so far it looks like id screwed up big time. Honestly, I can’t say I am all that sad after Carmack’s anti-PC sentiment, and the general level of competency id have exhibited over more recent years (and this is coming from someone who rates the original Quake as one of the greatest games ever made). Time will tell, though.

    • Prime says:

      An accurate summary, IMO.

      I think iD have moved so far away from what they used to be that their only chance for survival might be to follow the advice of Eskil Steenberg’s open letter to Carmack. They need to start dazzling us with their technical capabilities again. Mind you, they’ve also got an uphill struggle getting PC gamers to believe them again after we’ve been blatantly manipulated.

      How far the mighty have fallen. :(

    • dazman76 says:

      @Arutha – very well put indeed :) Pretty much sums up my own feelings on the whole situation. I’ve had this huge respect for Carmack and id for years, and if I’m honest, it’s almost all based on their work in the 90s. Post Q2 really, I’ve been subconsciously unimpressed with their work, but have never really admitted it to myself.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I know John Romero gets a lot of a shit, and rightly so for Daikatana, but it’s worth noting that he was heavily involved in just about everything up to the first Quake. I can’t help but think that he was a big part of the success of early id, all those shooters before online multiplayer was the thing to do.

      Their technology isn’t especially good anymore. Their games are poor. They really don’t seem to have much direction or sense of purpose, post-Q3A. If Bethesda want to take the id people and get them to work on better games instead, that doesn’t seem at all unreasonable to me.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      “They need to start dazzling us with their technical capabilities again”
      You’re assuming they have any.

      They may have been leaders in the arena once, but the technology has moved on a hell of a lot in the last decade. iD haven’t been able to keep their position and now they’re just another, not particularly good, development studio. This is the way of the world and to be expected – Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot hasn’t made any good cars recently, and it’s been a while since the Lumière brothers’ last good film.

  27. merc-ai says:

    Lie about your dedication to PC platform – check.
    Show promo material suggesting and highlighting a cult weapon, only to make it a preorder bonus later on – check.
    Buggy release – check.

    With company attitude like that, I might actually feel better if there will be no Doom 4.

  28. Stardog says:

    I can’t feel sorry for any company that abandons PC. They can go the way of Ion Storm as far as I’m concerned, and hopefully Remedy join them.

    But I doubt Bethesda/Zenimax would release something that strongly worded, so I’m calling fake.

    • Dreamhacker says:

      I’d say there is a serious lack of confidence in EVERYONE at id.

      Edit: Heh, yeah… reply failure.

  29. Dreamhacker says:

    I’m feeling strangely relieved that we won’t be seeing this would-be mess of an uninspired 90′s FPS.

  30. Biggie says:

    I just don’t buy this rumor, sure Rage’s launch was a bit iffy and yeah maybe the game was a bit of a disappointment. Moreover, when all is said and done Rage will be a million seller, I’m sure they would have hope for more but every game can not bee a winner. But id and Doom are classic brands, which can easily generate a lot of buzz.
    I enjoyed my run through it, once the first set of patches where released. Plus the one thing that Rage got really right, was all the shooting bits, something that I hope Doom 4 will focus on.

  31. Biggie says:

    I just don’t buy this rumour, sure Rage’s launch was a bit iffy and yeah maybe the game was a bit of a disappointment. Moreover, when all is said and done Rage will be a million seller, I’m sure they would have hope for more but every game cannot be a winner. But id and Doom are classic brands, which can easily generate a lot of buzz.
    I enjoyed my run through it, once the first set of patches where released. Plus the one thing that Rage got really right, was all the shooting bits, something that I hope Doom 4 will focus on.

  32. reticulate says:

    It’s a sad story, but there it is.

    John Carmack is a monster of game engine design. His legacy is already written no matter what happens. But iD? As a studio, I honestly feel they haven’t provided much good gaming in about a decade or so.

  33. Tyrone Slothrop. says:

    I hope this truly humbles Id. They’ve gotten far too much of a pass from the PC community, gamers and their fans due to their history, real and perceived. John Romero was undisciplined but he was eminently correct; game design is law. Yet even technically Rage is just fundamentally broken.

    Even the stunning technical hubris of John Carmack can’t possibly justify megatextures. There’s nothing in Rage that can’t be almost indistinguishably be done with conventional texture technology and it really has no impact on even the aesthetic appearance most of the time when there are repeated textures, just with a slightly different scratches and slightly different scuff marks. And the cost of this? 20 gigabyte installation files, blurry textures and four year development cycles for a linear 13-16 hour experience. It’s estimated by other parties that to bring Rage to the fidelity of say Metro 2033‘s textures or The Witcher 2, it would take 80 to 120 gigs of more data. And that’s with current-gen models, sound design and textures, let alone the expectations of games in the future.

    This isn’t even going over the gameplay failings of Rage, which are ample.

    • Robin says:

      “There’s nothing in Rage that can’t be almost indistinguishably be done with conventional texture technology”

      Self-evidently nonsense.

  34. lijenstina says:

    function bethesda(id_game)
    local doom_4
    if id_game then
    if tostring(id_game) == “boring” then
    doom_4 = nil
    end
    end
    end

  35. Robin says:

    Anyone who believed this rumour should take a good hard look at themselves. I’ve rarely seen so many bizarre armchair rants based on pure speculation and angry internet man (in this case, more like upset-pirate-child) myths in a single comment thread.

    It baffles me why some people feel compelled to create these fictional soap operas about the motivations, personalities and working practices of companies. (I understand why the tabloid blogs encourage it for clickbaiting purposes, but why perpetuate the idiocy?)

    I think id are quite aware of the frustrations of taking five years or more to complete major projects, which is why they talk about getting away from it in every interview they do. Writing off id tech 5 is laughable – as the non-crayon-eating part of RPS’s commenters have patiently pointed out already, Rage’s technical issues stem almost entirely from external factors and the commercial reality of having to support the aging consoles.

    Rage on a decent PC looks jawdropping, just check out deadendthrill’s screenshot galleries. Doom 4 and/or Rage 2 (whichever drops after the current gen consoles are no longer a millstone around every developer’s neck) will really take the training wheels off.

  36. Unaco says:

    “Complete bollocks”

    I like Hines’ new PR voice.

  37. Unaco says:

    “Complete b*llocks”

    I like Hines’ new PR voice.

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