DOOM 4 was canned back in 2013 simply because it was “just not Doom,” Bethesda’s VP of marketing Pete Hines has revealed. In an interview with The Official Xbox Magazine, Hines speaks candidly about the development process of the scrapped shooter and how both Bethesda and developer id Software ultimately decided to trash the project and go back to the drawing board.
“With Doom it was a tipping point,” says Hines, adding that, “We looked at it and said, “This game is not hitting the marks it needs to hit.” And it wasn’t just Bethesda, it was id coming to us and saying, ‘It’s not that it’s not a good game or an okay game, but it’s just not Doom.”
In hindsight, of course, the risk turned out to be one worth taking, as last year’s positively received DOOM rose from the ashes of its progenitor, revealing one of the finest first-person shooters of this generation that didn’t have the words “call” or “duty” in its title. The decision to cancel a video game mid-development is never an easy one to make, says Hines, admitting that a great deal of money and manpower is wasted because of it.
“We canceled a thing that people had spent a long time working on and we’d spent a lot of money to get to that point and then we canceled it and basically started over.”
DOOM hasn’t been the only franchise to suffer such a fate under Bethesda’s watch in recent years, though. Prey 2, which fell into development hell for several years, was scrapped by the publisher too. Whether that series will enjoy a happy ending in much the same way that DOOM did remains to be seen, but from what we’ve seen so far, all signs point to yes. With Dishonored 2 developer Arkane Studios now at the helm of the reimagined sequel (not a direct one, mind), Prey looks to be shaping up rather nicely.