Mod-ern Warfare: Non-BFG Doom 3 Yanked From Steam

By Nathan Grayson on October 24th, 2012 at 8:00 am.

Mod won't save you now.

Yesterday, we brought you word of a really neat Thief total conversion mod for Doom 3. You probably gazed upon it, felt your excitement glands emit a mucus concoction of pure glee, and downloaded it as quickly as your lovestruck heart could handle. But then you remembered something: Doom 3 was released back when games still came in boxes. Your copy, unfortunately, has probably been devoured by this cluttered meatspace we call reality. Now normally, this would be the part where Steam comes to the rescue. There is, however, one teensy-weensy little problem: vanilla Doom 3′s been abruptly pulled from Steam. You can grab the BFG Edition, but it takes to mods like a Cyberdemon face to, well, a BFG. So I got in touch with id/Bethesda about the issue, and here’s what they said.

“DOOM 3 and Resurrection of Evil are now only available through the BFG Edition, which also includes the Lost Mission,” a rep told RPS. “If you already own the original versions of DOOM 3 and Resurrection of Evil, you will still be able to access them from within your Steam library.”

“We do realize that there are fans that would like to purchase the original version of the game, and we’re looking into options for them. When there’s new info to share, we’ll let everyone know.”

Which is a bit of an odd thing to say, given that the seemingly obvious answer is to just put Doom 3 back on Steam – no muss, no fuss. I suppose, though, that something is better than nothing. If nothing else, id’s acknowledging fan complaints on this one. Obviously, though, there’s reason to be skeptical of the motivations behind all of this. I mean, why remove one option if not to corral buyers to the other? I’m not aware of any Steam policy that prohibits multiple packages containing the same/similar games, so I’m pretty sure that’s not what’s going on here.

I suppose time will tell, though. If Doom 3′s back in the (heavily duct-taped) spotlight sooner rather than later, then it’s no big deal. But id and Bethesda are being pretty vague about the whens and wherefores, so it’s tough to say what exactly’s going on behind the curtain.

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81 Comments »

  1. NoahGibbs says:

    http://store.steampowered.com/app/9050/
    Doom 3 is still on the steam store..

    • NoahGibbs says:

      and now you can’t buy it anymore within 2 minutes of me posting my comment.

      • SquareWheel says:

        WHAT HAVE YOU DONE

      • ScubaMonster says:

        At least if you already own it you still have it. I checked my Steam account and was going to get REALLY pissed if it was gone.

  2. f1x says:

    Unless some other information is revelead looks like a big “buy the BFG edition”

    I guess ol’ Doom3 was way cheaper?

    • NoahGibbs says:

      BFG is 30 dollars
      Doom 3 was 20 dollars. If you own Doom 3, BFG is 20 dollars.

      • f1x says:

        Hum, then is not that big difference?

        I thought Doom3 could be like 5-10 dollars vs 30-40 for the BFG
        ok nevermind!

        • phlebas says:

          It has been in some sales, mind. Pretty sure I paid under a fiver for it. They’re not ‘upgrading’ existing copies to the BFG version, at least.

  3. lizzardborn says:

    How to stop piracy 101: Remove a product people are willing to buy, so you can pluck them and rip them off more with a product they don’t want to.

    Enjoy your 3 copies sold.

    • Rhuhuhuhu says:

      it will take a boat, a small bird on your shoulder and an eye-patch to get a the proper version of Doom 3.

      Look at the list of changes that Id has made, and that has offended the community:
      http://doom.wikia.com/wiki/Doom_3_BFG_Edition

    • neofit says:

      Exactly. Do I understand them right? Up to yesterday, if I wanted to play a Doom 3 mod, I could have gone and bought it from Steam. And from today on the only option is to pirate the thingy? They did it knowingly, they don’t want people to pay them for it anymore so getting it for free must be legit, amiright amiright?

      • ulix says:

        youaremostdefinitelyrightsir.

      • Kaira- says:

        You may not know, but there are other stores than Steam on the internet. Impossible, I know! But it is true. Also, as another option, you could download the source code for Doom 3, use the assets from BFG, compile it and game on. There are many legal ways.

        • pepper says:

          Come on? You really expect your average joe to compile the game from source code and then correctly import the assets? Heck, they done some engines changes and updated the assets so the new ones may not be compatible anymore..

          Also note that the only version I could find via some of the main retailers was this one:

          http://www.gamersgate.com/DD-DOOM3M/doom-3-mac

          The MAC version on gamersgate.. bit insulting I think(from ID that is)

        • Kaira- says:

          Do I have good news for you, you don’t even have to compile it yourself, since it’s been done for you!

          http://zerowing.idsoftware.com/linux/doom/Doom3FrontPage/

          I was on my phone so I couldn’t really check the online stores. Odd that the Mac version is still available, but not the Windows-version.

          • Wulf says:

            Except that, as I understand it, they compiled the media a different way.

            So your method won’t work at all, Kaira-.

  4. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    This is such a peculiar attitude towards selling a new product, but of course it is apparent throughout the technology industry and beyond. If a new product is released, remove the option to get the old one. it’s obvious and completely obnoxious.

    Like trying to buy a new laptop: theres one I have my eyes on, and it’s maybe from the last year or so, and has dropped in price, making it a pretty good deal. But the minute a new “generation” of it is on the market, good luck getting your hands on the old one…

    • Gnoupi says:

      It does make sense, actually, from a logistic point of view. No reason to produce or store a product if you have an upgraded version. No reason to produce spare parts, train your support for the older products.

      For digital products, it still makes sense on the support point of view: you stop supporting the old, because it’s easier on the new version anyway.
      That said, it doesn’t particularly apply to old games which were not getting much support anyway, I agree.

      Then the only point of view which remains is the marketing one, and reducing consumer confusion by having only the one improved offer on sale, instead of two.

      We can find a lot of reasons for such moves, aside from the basic “push customers to pay more”.

      • scatterbrainless says:

        We could find reasons but… why would we? I assume if there was a reasonable, consumer-friendly explanation id would have issued it in its statement, instead of saying pretty much nothing. If they’re really not planning on providing it as a choice to avoid confusion, why not just package the old game with the new, updated version? You get the new version of Doom 3, and can run the mods off the old engine if you want.

        • Salt says:

          I suspect that their internal reasoning is to avoid “customer confusion”. They don’t want all the people super hyped to buy the new BFG edition accidentally buying the old edition and then being disappointed (and paying less). Although I hear that the BFG version is if anything slightly worse than the original, so maybe “disappointed” is the wrong emotion.

          If you’re feeling insulted by the suggestion that you’d be so easily confused, remember the Scrolls vs The Elder Scrolls thing.

  5. Zanchito says:

    I’m guessing producer/distributor marketing genius. And that’s why we can’t have nice things.

  6. Amun says:

    Yeah, SUUUUUUURE that move to Bethesda won’t make Id evil.

  7. ANeM says:

    Is it just me or does it not seem like the simplest solution would be to simply rename Doom 3 to “Doom 3 Classic” and modify the BFG steam subscription to include the “Classic” editions?

    • f1x says:

      Thats sounds apparently easy, clean and painless

      You are hired son

      On a serious note: Yep that could’ve been a perfect solution unless there is any technical thing I’m not aware of

  8. Tyrone Slothrop. says:

    It’s a good thing they pulled the cheap and dusty game on the left, not the clean, expensive game on the right…. …oh.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      It’s almost as if the changes they’ve made aren’t worth the premium price and having to put up with steamworks integration…

  9. Numerical says:

    Call me when Id has something good going on. Actually, just don’t call me.

  10. SkittleDiddler says:

    What a petty, cash-grabbing little move. Yet another reason Bethesda will continue to retain a top spot on my “Do Not Buy” list.

  11. Cytrom says:

    Since Romero left id, and Carmack has been reduced to a simple code monkey with little influence on the company’s overall policy, id has been nothing more than a bunch of greedy cashgrabbers with no real value to back it up. All they do is keeping 1-2 games in developement hell for years, ultimately ending up mediocre, but trying to cash it in riding on the past glory.

    I was a big id fan but the soul has simply left this company a long time ago. (Just like bioware and blizzard)

    • viverravid says:

      Where did you get the idea that Carmack has little influence on the company’s direction? Everything I’ve seen suggests the opposite, and that this is part of the problem – i.e Carmack is mainly focused on interesting technical problems, and he drives the company to develop games that tackle interesting technical problems, but he doesn’t actually know much about what makes games fun. Romero seemed to be better at that aspect.

      • Cytrom says:

        The business aspects of the company are completely out of his hands. And sadly modding (and pushing the company to consoles) became a business aspect lately…

        • InternetBatman says:

          In one of his recent talks, he spoke about how great Bethesda was and how they helped and saw it as an important goal to release the source code for Doom 3 (something EA, Activision, or Ubisoft probably never would). That’s a huge gift to modders.

          • Cytrom says:

            Indeed. Bethesda obviously cares about modding. Skyrim’s mod scene alone is probably bigger in itself than the rest of other games mod scenes *of today* combined (and they must have realized, that its a huge selling point of the game on PC)… yet Rage didnt support modding, and as it seems this bfg edition either. It was id software’s own decision to focus their attention on console gaming and neglect modding (despite that they were the ones who invented the whole thing) and not publisher influence.

            My only gripe with bethesda as publishers is that they made some shady agreements with a bunch of eastern regional distributors so that they’d get a monopoly on certain games distribution in said regions. Hence some of their games cannot be bought from anyone else (including steam).

          • particlese says:

            I thought I also read this on RPS, but Doom3 BFG has already been approved for open-sausage:
            http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTIxMDc

            They can’t include 3rd party stuff for legal reasons, and you won’t get the art assets and whatnot, but having the main engine source could help a lot to bring modding to the BFG edition.

            Publishers are so weird…

    • phuzz says:

      If you’re trying to say that John Romero can do no wrong, then I have just one word for you sir:
      Daikatana

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      BioWare… Please, just refer to them as their new name: EA RPG Developer 212.

  12. bluebomberman says:

    Hey RPS shouldn’t your story also note the terrible job they’ve done with the BFG edition? For instance I heard it’s a PC port of the console port, meaning all the textures are low-res.

    (Apologies if you’ve already mentioned this in a different post but I’m too lazy to check and it should be noted in this article too.)

    • Sheng-ji says:

      And isn’t all the lighting baked in rather than being dynamic which is why the dark mod will never, ever work with it.

      • viverravid says:

        No, BFG edition still uses standard Doom3 stencil shadowed real-time lighting (with a few tweaks). They backported some other parts of their most recent engine into BFG, but not the renderer.

      • caljohnston says:

        From reading their wiki it seems that TDM already has its own executable, but still uses some content from Doom 3 (animation, some sounds, etc)

        • Claidheamh says:

          Yes, The Dark Mod team have been working on releasing a standalone version for a while, which is why there are those executables.

  13. Low Life says:

    The only reasons I care about id at this point are Carmack’s Quakecon keynotes and Oculus Rift. Which is to say that I don’t care about id at all, but Carmack still seems fine.

  14. GameStunts says:

    Well to me it seems if the BFG edition doesn’t allow mods, that’s because they want to sell DLC for the game, and not have people make parital or total conversion mods that either improve the game, or put something in that they could otherwise charge for. Maybe they’re going to put the old Doom 3 back but with modding removed.

    It seems sad these days with games locked down, Battlefield 2 wouldn’t be what it was if it hadn’t been for Desert Combat mod for Battlefield 1942. As soon as companies saw a way to make money out of DLC they locked their games down.

    Here’s hoping projects like DayZ really change developers outlook on that.

  15. killmachine says:

    and you know who gives the least about that? the pirates. because, you can find the original doom 3 version all over the net.

  16. Jackablade says:

    Doom 3 is open source at this point, isn’t it? If that’s the case, wouldn’t it be a relatively trivial task to make the Dark Mod a standalone game?

    • adonf says:

      Only if the Dark Mod is really a total conversion and doesn’t use any Doom 3 assets.

      • Kaira- says:

        Also Dark Mod would have to be open source under GPL license.

        • pepper says:

          You have any objections to that? Also which version of the GPL are you referencing?

          • Kaira- says:

            I’d have 0 objections, in fact I’d love that to happen. Doom 3 was released under GPLv3.

        • Derpentine says:

          As an on-leave TDM dev : The latest TDM source is released under the gpl3, older source and some tools under BSD (real sharing is caring :)). TDM official/supplied content is under cc-by-sa.

          @Jackablade – Standalone will take time, there is some core stuff which is reused by our assets. Replacing them blindly or without careful work takes time. Should you have any skills with content work, animation and modeling in specific, you’re welcome to help out.

        • adonf says:

          @Kaira:
          Not really. The GPL applies to the D3 code, not to every game asset that can be run by the engine. Then there’s the matter of scripts. I don’t known if D3 uses interpreted scripts or binaries but I believe that even binaries compiled into machine or VM code are fine as long as they are not dynamically or statically linked with the engine. See SCUMMVM for an example of an OSS engine that runs closed source game code.

          And in any case they could be distributed as separate packages (one for the executable, including source and one for the assets in binary format, source not necessarily included).

          • Kaira- says:

            You are very much correct. Somehow kinda slipped through my mind to mention, but yeah, only the engine-code is GPL’d.

    • phuzz says:

      They are making a standalone version, but it’s going to take a while to strip out the D3 content they’re using. See here.

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      The Dark Mod people are already working on making it standalone.

  17. -Spooky- says:

    Grab your old D³ Version, search this mods

    - Sikkmod
    - Wulfen Texture Pack
    - Parallax Ocllusion Mapping

    and try a nice DOOMFACE!

    • Chaz says:

      I might just do that. Luckily I still have D3 and RoE on disk.

  18. woodsey says:

    “I’m not aware of any Steam policy that prohibits multiple packages containing the same/similar games, so I’m pretty sure that’s not what’s going on here.”

    No different to a ‘Deluxe Edition’ of a game or Valve’s own Half-Life and Half-Life: Source being sold at the same time. This is id being pathetic. Or idiots. Or both. Let’s file it away with Tim Willits’ comments about always-online DRM being a blessing.

    Still, it’s still on Pirate Bay, so no worries.

    • Fanbuoy says:

      One might also argue that the later CoD games are more or less iterations of the same game.

  19. Calreth says:

    Probably wasn’t the best way for them to handle it, but I don’t think there’s any ill intention. It’s like pulling off an older version of the game when the GOTY is out. I dunno, but it seems that someone who is interested and has been playing Doom 3 mods would have been a Doom 3 fan and had owned the game even before the BFG edition came out (many of you that have it on DVDs and Steam, for example).

    Bethesda/id probably thinks (rightly or wrongly) that Doom 3 fans would have already owned the classic version, and that new players are better introduced to the franchise with the current one. It’s no Illuminati plot.

    • bitbot says:

      Yes, but the things is, the BFG edition is a much worse game then the original Doom 3. For example, it has worse textures, your flashlight doesn’t cast any shadows anymore, there are no graphical options, the audio levels are all wrong so you can barely hear the audio logs over the environment sounds, no mod support, and the new levels are all made of copy pasted parts from the original maps. I’m not joking.

  20. DickSocrates says:

    Uncle piracy to the rescue. They don’t want to sell something that people want to buy in order to force people to buy a thing no body wants/needs/or likes then they are hurting themselves.

    Buy it legitimately when it reappears.

  21. oliwarner says:

    So you can’t buy something online so the next logical step is to pirate it? For the love of all things holy people, try to remember how game sales used to work.

    Doom 3 is from before everything was locked down to an account. When you could take a game you had finished playing and sell it on the used game market. Yes, it has a CD Key to stop multiple people using the same key online but for the purposes of playing TDM, there’s no risk.

    TL;DR: Hop on ebay.

    • InternetBatman says:

      It’s the logical next step of publishers villifying used games.

    • Innovacious says:

      Beth/id still do not get any money from you buying it on ebay.

      • qrter says:

        Innovacious makes a good point – why would buying a secondhand copy through eBay be better than pirating a copy?

      • Hicks233 says:

        And? You sell a car second hand, clothing, books, films the original manufacturer doesn’t get a cut.

        Why should a games publisher get a second cut? They’re getting a wider customer base of people that may be interested in buying future products through the advertising of what they’ve just bought.

        Get it on ebay or amazon. Patch the disc check out and avoid drm. Think it was v 1.34? get the visual enhancement mods, play other mods on top.

  22. stupid_mcgee says:

    “If you already own the original versions of DOOM 3 and Resurrection of Evil, you will still be able to access them from within your Steam library.”

    No shit, Sherlock.

    “We do realize that there are fans that would like to purchase the original version of the game, and we’re looking into options for them.”

    Put the original back on Steam. Mission accomplished.

    Quite frankly, I’m fucking fed up and tired of this shit. Not Doom3 or pulling games or any of that shit, but this whole routine of talking down to grown fucking adults like they’re fucking toddlers or brain dead money machines.

    Tell you what ID, after the whole debacle with RAGE where I couldn’t play your game for 2 months because you fucked up and didn’t code for Core 2 Duo chips, I’ll simply “allocate time to your games when I can’t spend it elsewhere.” AKA: fuck you and fuck your games.

    You’ve now lost a customer who has been with you since Wolf3D. Go get fucked and die in a shallow grave.

  23. PoulWrist says:

    There’s no console money in mods.

    • GiantPotato says:

      It’s interesting that Bethesda builds mod support so deeply into their own games, even as Id is taking steps to lock theirs down. And Arkane made some mod-related statements about Dishonered as well, it didn’t sound like they were under any pressure one way or the other. So this bunker mentality towards the community sounds like it’s internal to Id.

      The problem with this decision is that they are just not talented enough game designers to function without community fixes and mods. I couldn’t play RAGE with the patch because the view bob setting was locked (someone at Id likes LOTS of view bobbing). And I couldn’t play it without the patch because it was completely bugged.

  24. gcmwalker says:

    For Mac owners, Doom 3 is still available at the App Store:

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/doom-3/id475362810?mt=12

    Glad I purchased it a while back.

  25. pilouuuu says:

    This is a totally not needed version of the game. Why release it if you could be focusing on Doom 4?

  26. InternetBatman says:

    This was a single blunder. I don’t think it’s indicative of a particularly greedy publisher. Maybe they just thought people would get confused. Either way, if they were greedy they never would have released Doom 3 as open source. The Dark Mod is temporarily hurt by this (and they could have seen some Arma II style sales in the wake of its news coverage), but because Bethesda released the source they can and are building their own standalone version.

    • GiantPotato says:

      Since Doom 1 and Doom 2 are included in the BFG package and are still available on Steam, I’m going with “some obscure licensing conflict” for now.

    • qrter says:

      I’d say that the release of a BFG edition sounds pretty greedy to me.

  27. Hicks233 says:

    This is why I love not relying on things like Steam to buy games.

    Happy to have that physical copy of Doom 3 where the patch removed the disc check.

  28. Lucid says:

    Cool, Doom 3 BFG requires somewhat beefier hardware to run so people with older PCs are fucked now.

  29. belgand says:

    Who loses their discs? After numerous moves through the years I still know precisely where my original floppies for X-COM or Alone in the Dark are along with the manuals, maps, etc. It’s not that challenging to simply keep track of things. You just take a box and say “games will go in this box that I have now labeled ‘Games’” and you’re done. Having an alphabetized CD rack and floppy box also helps quite a bit.

  30. Suits says:

    Now Vice City is gone from Steam