Doom 4′s troubled past is no secret. A few months ago, it was confirmed that an early version of the game had been cancelled as it “did not exhibit the quality and excitement that id and Bethesda intend to deliver and that Doom fans worldwide expect.”
As far as what went wrong with the project, id Software studio director Tim Willits told IGN:
“It wasn’t one thing. 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] 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. Everyone knows the feeling of Doom, but it’s very hard to articulate.”
Bethesda VP of marketing Pete Hines also said that it was “not Doom 4″ when it came to how the project was before it was reset.
“If it was like the quintessential, ‘yup, that’s Doom 4,’ then we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But, it was something that we looked at and the id guys looked at and said, look, it’s not even that something is necessarily bad. But is it good enough? You can make a game and say, ‘that’s not a bad game, but it’s not as good as an Elder DScrolls game should be,’ and there’s a difference…it’s not great. It’s not amazing. It’s not what people have waited all this time for. It needs to be like ‘this was totally worth the wait.’ And I think what the guys at id are working on is…they’re pushing the boundaries and challenging themselves. I don’t want anybody to look at id’s next project and have this reaction that it’s still stuck in the 90s.”
Willits wouldn’t actually refer to the name “Doom”, as it hasn’t been officially announced – only leaked through job listings. But he did confirm that this “new project” is the only title id Software is working on currently. According to Willits, the team “cut distractions out”.