Doom was revealed to counter fears of trouble at id Software, public reveal unlikely this year
Speaking to PC Gamer about yesterday’s Doom reveal at QuakeCon, Bethesda Softworks VP of PR and Marketing Pete Hines explained that the livestream cut out because Doom isn’t ready for a “formal announcement." Only QuakeCon attendees in the room were allowed to see the gameplay demonstration, and unless video of it leaks, we probably won’t see anything else about Doom until next year.
"I try really, really hard for this to be a dev first, dev-lead thing," said Hines, and id Software isn't ready for a worldwide reveal of Doom. "We’re working with them to say, ‘How does this work? What do we want to show?’ And they’re like, ‘Look, we don’t want a stream to go up for a game that isn’t at the point where we would formally show it to the world, and now that thing is getting picked apart, and digested, and gone through frame-by-frame and getting nitpicked to death, when normally we wouldn’t be showing this to anybody at all.’”
If it normally wouldn’t be shown to anybody, why show it at all? Aside from not wanting yet another QuakeCon without Doom, Hines says he wanted to quell doubts about Doom and the id Software team, which “bothered the hell” out of him. At the same time, he didn't want to "deal with the repercussions" of a formal announcement, which would come with too many expectations.
"I really wanted to put something out there that, in a strong way, said, ‘id is working on something that we think is really cool,’" said Hines. "And we wanted ... to show something to [id Software fans] that gives them the confidence that it is still a viable studio that’s doing really cool stuff, that is making a game you want to play, and is treating Doom with the care and respect that you want.
"And now we’re going to go away and go back to making the game, but to be able to counter other people talking about us and we’re sort of just sitting here staying silent, or operating from this negative space of like, ‘Oh, it got rebooted, oh it’s in trouble.’ All of that stuff just bothered the hell out of me."
As for the fans who couldn’t make it to QuakeCon, Hines says “there was no perfect version” for the reveal. Trying to get Doom ready to “bring a bunch of press guys in” would have meant missing QuakeCon again. The private showing was a compromise: id Software earns renewed confidence, QuakeCon attendees aren't disappointed, and Bethesda can go back to being quiet about Doom until it's ready.
“Next year is normally when I think we would’ve started,” said Hines, so Doom will likely be revealed publicly then. He went on to express that plans can change, and it’s even possible he’ll be asked to post the stream, but then clarified, “I don’t think there’s any way that happens.” 2015 it is.
Ian Birnbaum contributed to this story.