According to a report today Id Software, the studio that brought us Wolfenstein 3D, Doom & Quake, is apparently in turmoil. Between fired employees and rebooted development, there’s quite a bit of shake up. Sources which would rather remain anonymous and therefor unverified, explain that ZeniMax, the company that owns Bethesda and Id Software, has met with the Dallas, TX based developer many times over the years to follow up on the progress of Doom 4. Apparently, in a few of these meetings, ZeniMax expressed it’s interest in the IP explaining that it could be as successul as Skyrim. Consequently, the development of the FPS Doom 4 was rebooted in 2011, around the time that Id Software shipped Rage. Sources explain that management was “blind to the happenings of Doom, and the black hole of mediocrity“. At that point, Id reorganized it’s teams and gave a refreshed focus on Doom 4, encouraging ideas and collaboration in the company. Even company co-founder, president, and resident genius John Carmack got involved expressing “Doom means two things: demons and shotguns.”
There was also a second camp in Id Software, the Rage team and they were planning out Rage 2. Months later, after another review from ZeniMax, things changed again. Rage 2 was cancelled with Rage DLC downsized; Id Software needed to focus on Doom 4. In a lot ways, Id Software existed because of Doom 4. The Doom and Rage team were now one, although unwillingly. The tech also got rebooted for Doom 4 which brought in some new issues for the team to tackle as the title became focused for next gen consoles like the PS4. During all of these happenings, many talented employees were either fired or quit, causing morale to go even lower. According to sources, Doom 4’s never been close to finished, with at most a dozen levels.
ZeniMax & Bethesda know that Doom 4 could mean a lot of money; for that reason id Software is still working on it. Rumors went around that ZeniMax gave id an ultimatum: Finish Doom 4 or the company will be disolved becoming an internal engine development office for Bethesda. This would have them focus on the Id Tech 5 engine, which is currently being used to develop a few games over at Bethesda. While this is purely rumor, it could be the fate of Id Software if they aren’t able to figure out Doom 4. With that said, I am personally a big fan of Id Software and was pleasantly surprised with the gameplay and open world nature of Rage; especially considering it came from the people that made Doom. I have faith in them. In shotguns and demons I trust.
This article is based on details from Kotaku. Most of the details are unconfirmed from anonymous sources, so take it with a grain of salt.
This article includes resources gathered from our in-house investigative reporter, George Eleftheriou.