Bethesda and parent company Zenimax have reportedly decided to put development of DOOM 4 on "indefinite hold" thanks to the disastrous launch of id Software's new shooter RAGE, and the new engine powering the post-apocalyptic game, id Tech 5. The news arrives by way of an unnamed source who said the decision was just made during a "company wide" meeting in Dallas.
The source adds that Zenimax and Bethesda made the decision to put the DOOM sequel on ice based on the obvious "issues and reviews" surrounding the launch of RAGE. More specifically, the unstable launch has reportedly demonstrated to Zenimax and Bethesda "a serious lack of confidence in the project management at id."
But naturally Pete Hines, VP of PR and Marketing at Bethesda, is denying the report, later stating that no game currently in development has been put on indefinite hold.
"We don't comment on unannounced games and DOOM 4 hasn't been announced (though I appreciate that id has previously referenced DOOM 4)," Hines said on Twiter. "Games are done when they are done and no title under development at id has been postponed – indefinitely or otherwise."
What has likely happened is that DOOM 4 was/is put on hold temporarily to iron out the bugs in the id Tech 5 engine first, but not "indefinitely." It's best to get the skeleton up and walking before you throw on the trench coat and hat.
id Software first talked about DOOM 4 back in 2008, and has mostly kept the details rather light since then. The studio has actually kept the sequel on the backburner all this time while it refined id Tech 5 and cranked out the current shooter and new IP, RAGE. Unfortunately, technical issues surrounding the new release have brought a negative light on the game despite its content -- not a good start for a completely new franchise since the launch of Quake back in 1996.
As of this writing, RAGE for the PC has a Metacritic score of 79-percent and a user score of 3.9 out of 10. "I registered an account here just to say how horridly id and Bethesda botched the PC port of Rage," reads one user review. "I have a system that is well above recommended specs with a very common ATI card and the texture draw in and framerate issues on launch are horrendous. How this game got out the door in this shape is a mystery to me, but now I would be curious to see it on my PS3."
RAGE on the Xbox 360 has a Metacritic score of 81 and the PlayStation 3 version has scored an 83.