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H33rsay: DOOM 4 development put on hold following RAGE reception [Update]

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[Update] Added response from VP of PR and Marketing at Bethesda Softworks, Pete Hines. [End of Update]

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Rumours and reports doing the rounds today concern the future (or not) of the next entry to id Software’s legendary DOOM series of first-person shooters.

Speaking to Kotaku, an unnamed source (who supposedly “close to” Bethesda Softworks and Zenimax Media) claimed that during a company meeting held in Dallas recently, the decision was taken to “indefinitely postpone” production and development of id Software’s DOOM 4.

DOOM 3 ImageWhy would such a decision be made?

According to the source, the poorer than expected critical and commercial reception of id Software’s recently released RAGE has had a direct impact on the studio’s future projects, DOOM 4 included, and the decision was made due to “the issues and reviews” following the launch of RAGE, most probably referring to the general mixed reaction, as well as the host of technical problems the game encountered on PC.

In addition, the source claims that the underwhelming launch of RAGE has plainly put on display id Software’s project management abilities, in which Zenimax and Bethesda now have “a serious lack of confidence.”

There’s currently no confirmation on whether or not development of DOOM 4 has indeed been put on hold or not, but I’m personally throwing my chips in here and saying that id Software is in a bit of trouble.

Having never before shipped a major game under the umbrella of a corporate structure such as Zenimax and Bethesda, and always having been free to simply compile their games and let the publisher do the rest, the launch of RAGE probably came as a wake-up call to all involved. It wouldn’t be surprising to hear that development of DOOM 4 itself is in a tailspin without proper managerial guidance, which may have contributed to the companies’ decision to halt production until a proper development schedule is put in place.

What say you? Is this mere rumour, or is there some substance to these claims? We’ve heard only snippets and promises regarding DOOM 4 in the past, with a real writer being attached to the project too, but no showings at E3, QuakeCon or gamescom at all.

[Update]

In response to the recent round of rumours, VP of PR and Marketing at Bethesda Softworks, Pete Hines has said in a Twitter posting:

“Re: DOOM 4 rumor, games are done when they are done and no title under development at id has been postponed ‒ indefinitely or otherwise.”

Is that the end of the story? I think not.

[End of Update]

H33rsay is El33tonline’s (regular) round-up of game industry rumours and speculation where we have looks at unconfirmed and unannounced pieces of news emerging from anonymous tipsters, information leaks and generally dubious sources. It may not all be true, but it’s still fun to talk about!


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