Bethesda recognizes that they have an uphill battle ahead of them with Doom 4. Vice president of PR and marketing Pete Hines acknowledged in a new interview that they won't get a "free pass" from the public.
"We view that similarly to Wolfenstein," Hines told MCV (via TotalXbox). "Because it's been so long since the last Doom game. We are going in as if we need to prove ourselves all over again. We have no free passes. Nobody will assume this is going to be awesome."
Doom 3 was released back in 2004. That game, in turn, ended a seven-year hiatus from the series. While DOOM was once "the" shooter series back in the mid-nineties, it's now just a memory for many gamers. Younger shooter fans, meanwhile, haven't played a DOOM game at all."
Bethesda proved with Wolfenstein, though, that an old franchise can be resurrected with one good game. Wolfenstein, another classic shooter series from id Software, also fell off gamers' radars due to years of neglect. However, subsidiary Machine Games released Wolfenstein: The New Order this May to solid reviews.
"Let's be honest, it was a bit of a tarnished brand," Hines said about Wolfenstein. "And we knew that. The last couple of games were either 'ok' or 'not great'. It wasn't a franchise where people were desperate for the next one. Wolfenstein isn't Uncharted. We knew this would take some explaining. But developer Machine Games has now untarnished the IP."
Now it's id Software's turn to resurrect Doom. After years of development (production began back in 2008), they plan to unveil Doom 4 during QuakeCon 2014 later this month. All we've seen so far of the game is a teaser trailer with a Cyberdemon. Wolfenstein: The New Order owners will eventually get access to the game's multiplayer beta on PS4, Xbox One and PC. Perhaps we'll find out the start date of the beta during QuakeCon.
I'm sure that Doom 4 has its share of skeptics. High-profile failures like Too Human and Duke Nukem Forever have made us suspicious of any games with protracted development times. It's usually not a good sign when a game takes that long to come to market. Lengthy development suggests scrapped builds, frustrated developers and impatient publishers - whether or not that's the reality.
Time will tell whether Doom 4 ends up being another highly anticipated flop or ends up being worth the wait. However, the long absence of the series and low expectations may give id Software the chip on their shoulder that they need to build a great game.
"We are going to have to prove that this is something that's going to be fun and different that you need to pay attention to. That has to be our default position, we can't be: 'It's Doom, of course you're going to play it'. But that just makes us work harder."
Will Doom 4 live up to the hype?