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Doom Unity port launch

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Implementing online DRM in a port of a 26-year old game is a stupid idea.

In July of 2019, to coincide with Quakecon 2019 and as part of the "Year of Doom" celebration, Bethesda re-released Doom, Doom II: Hell on Earth and Doom 3 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, as well as PC and mobile devices, with the ports of the former two games developed by Nerve, running under the Unity engine, and the latter game being ported by Panic Button, who did the Nintendo Switch port of the 2016 Doom game.

While Panic Button's port of Doom 3 was well-received, the same cannot be said for the Unity ports of Doom and Doom II, at least, on launch. While the games themselves ran fine under the engine, some of the flaws were that the music and sound effects sounded slower compared to the original versions, the aspect ratios were poorly scaled, and some special effects being ruined due to the increased resolution. But the biggest problem of the Unity ports was the mandatory Internet connection and a login to a account in order to even play the games. This did not sit well with Doom fans at all, especially considering the fact that the original Doom game was 26 years old by that point, and adding online DRM to a single-player game that old helps hurt the experience. It didn't help that Bethesda decided to delist the XBLA versions of Doom and Doom II (which lacked said online DRM) to make room for the Unity ports. Adding insult to injury, the PS4/Xbox One/Switch port of Doom 3 had a less-restricted form of DRM, and some users reported getting errors when trying to log into to play Doom and Doom II. It was revealed that the account requirement for the Unity ports of the original games was done in order to give players bonus costumes for the Doom Slayer in then-upcoming Doom Eternal. The account requirement became an internet meme as a result.

Eventually, Bethesda responded to the backlash, saying it was an error, and patched the games to remove the account requirement to play Doom and Doom II, as well as optimizing the music and sound effects to sound more like the original games, and other quality-of-life improvements. Now, the Unity ports of the first two Doom games have positive reviews, and the account is only required to download add-ons and officially approved mods, like No Rest for the Living, Final Doom and SIGIL.



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