Bethesda, parent company of first-person shooter pioneer id Software, has issued a statement claiming that mandatory BethesdaNet login requirements on its re-releases of Doom and Doom II was a mistake - and that a patch will remove the requirement in the near future.
ZeniMax Media, which owns Bethesda, acquired id Software back in 2009 and placed the company best known for the Doom and Quake franchises under Bethesda Game Studios. The deal gave Bethesda rights to id Software's entire back catalogue, including the company's Doom franchise - something the company has sought to exploit with a re-release late last week of Doom, Doom II, and Doom 3 on consoles and mobile devices.
Sadly for those eager for a little pixelated ripping-and-tearing, there's a problem with the ports: They require the user to log in to a BethesdaNet account to play. If the player doesn't have a BethesdaNet account, they can't play until they create one and use it to sign in. For Doom and Doom II, that's the final step and the game will operate offline once the user has signed in once; for Doom 3, the player must be online to run the game.
Given that Doom and Doom II were both released long before internet connections were standard fare, and that the now open-source engine has been ported to everything from calculators to smartwatches, fans of the series have been up in arms over the requirement - but Bethesda claims it was all a mistake.
'The BethesdaNet login requirement was included for the Slayers Club, to reward members [with in-game items for upcoming Doom Eternal] for playing the classic Doom games,' the company claims via Twitter. 'The login should be optional, and we are working on changing the requirement to optional now. We will update everyone when a fix is ready.'
The company has also announced that it has reversed the de-listing of the Xbox 360 Doom and Doom II ports in favour of its newest versions, leaving those who had already purchased the Xbox 360 ports and were happily playing them via backwards compatibility on the Xbox One unable to download them again once deleted; while the Xbox 360 versions are still unavailable to purchase, Bethesda has confirmed that they are available to download for anyone who has already purchased them.
Bethesda still has some way to go to convince classic Doom fans it's on their side, though: Complaints have been stacking up over issues with the screen size and the quality of the music in the new ports, which are available now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Android, and iOS.
January 24 2020 | 12:00