Given the success of Machine Games' reboot of Wolfenstein, you might forgive publisher Bethesda for feeling pretty confident that forthcoming Doom 4 will be an automatic hit.
In a recent print interview"prove ourselves all over again"., however, the company's head of PR Pete Hines said the team knows they have to
In fact it's even more important not to get complacent, as the Doom franchise is a very different beast to Wolfenstein. While the World War II shooter had seen better days when Bethesda acquired the property, previous Doom entries have been very well regarded (personally I hate the tedious jump-scare-a-thon Doom 3 with a passion, but that's apparently not a universally popular opinion).
"The last couple of games (in the Wolfenstein series) were either 'ok' or 'not great'. It wasn't a franchise where people were desperate for the next one,” explained Hines. “Wolfenstein isn't Uncharted. We knew this would take some explaining. But developer Machine Games has now untarnished the IP.”
"We view that similarly to Wolfenstein, because it's been so long since the last Doom game," Hines continued. "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.”
Hines' comments suggest that the id Software team has been rethinking the franchise, and that when we finally get a look at Doom 4 it might have a few surprises in store. Not that everything will be new - there's obviously still going to be horrifying mecha-demons.
“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."
Attendees at the upcoming QuakeCon starting July 17 will get a first look at Doom 4 in action, though Bethesda has taken the to make the previews exclusive to those attending the show. There will be no gameplay videos released for the internet to peruse, in other words.
Doom 4 is expected to launch in 2015. Those who pre-ordered Wolfenstein: The New Order will get access to the game's closed beta sometime before then.