Why Doom 4 Was Canceled

"A lot more cinematic; a lot more story to it. A lot more characters around you that you."


Developers from id Software have spoken again about why the studio moved on from its concept for Doom 4. In a new episode of former GameSpot video producer Danny O'Dwyer's Noclip series, id Software designer Kevin Cloud, who made many of the high-level creative decisions for the game, said Doom 4 did not feel like a Doom game should in part because of its story and scope.

"We explored a direction and got to a certain point and felt like this really wasn't capturing what we felt like was going to be a strong Doom and what the fans would want from it," he said.

2016's Doom
2016's Doom

One of the game's pillars was providing the player with a greater sense of connection to the game world and its inhabitants.

Producer Marty Stratton acknowledged that Doom 4 had a "Call of Doom" feel to it, he said, referencing Activision's blockbuster Call of Duty series.

"It was much closer to something like that type of game," he said. "A lot more cinematic; a lot more story to it. A lot more characters around you that you were with throughout the course of the game. Definitely a different setting--it took place on Earth."

Doom 4 was going to have "unbelievable" production values, Stratton teased. But the game did not "feel" like a Doom game, Stratton said; it involved taking cover and fighting zombies in early sections.

"It was definitely a twist on Doom that took it into a much more cinematic, much more scripted type of experience," he said. "It was a reimagining of Doom in a way that was new. It didn't feel as much like Doom as I think a lot of us expected it would feel or hoped it would feel."

Creative director Hugo Martin is also quoted in the interview feature. He said Doom 4 had a "Robert Zemeckis-y Contact" feel to it, referencing the 1997 movie based on the Carl Sagan book.

"It was awesome, but it was more realistic," Martin said. "It was more about the global impact of a hellish invasion. As a concept I could see why they went there because I would probably want to explore that, too--if it wasn't a Doom game. To tell a bigger story, it scarified the doom slayer. Doom is about one guy involved in big things. Doom 4 was about the big things."

This isn't the first time people from id Software have talked about why Doom 4 was canceled. In 2014, studio director Tim Willits said Doom 4 "didn't have...passion and soul."

"It wasn't one thing," he said. "It wasn't like the art was bad, or the programming was bad. Every game has a soul. Every game has a spirit. When you played Rage, you got the spirit. And [Doom 4] did not have the spirit, it did not have the soul, it didn't have a personality. It had a bit of schizophrenia, a little bit of an identity crisis. It didn't have the passion and soul of what an id game is."

Bethesda confirmed in April 2013 that development on the game had been rebooted. The new version, simply titled Doom, would go on to launch for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in May 2015 behind rave reviews. The game's newest free update lets you play against bots.

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