DOOM turned out to be a very pleasant surprise when it launched last month, with players being taken aback at just how true to an old school shooting experience the game really was. However, most of that surprise and delight came from the game’s single player campaign, which was every bit DOOM– the multiplayer mode, which incidentally had been the part of the game shown off in most of its marketing, including the pre-release beta, didn’t fare as well.
It makes sense, too- the multiplayer mode was as full of the excesses of modern shooters as the campaign was not. Worse still, it wasn’t even done properly. It was almost as if it hadn’t been done by id, which is because it hadn’t- it had been developed by Certain Affinity.
All of that, however, looks to change- id Software, it seems, will be taking over the reins of the multiplayer mode themselves, in an attempt to address the one glaring flaw of the game.
Marty Stratton, DOOM‘s executive producer and game director, told Eurogamer. “There’s certainly no lack of commitment to DOOM as a multiplayer game on our side,” he says. “We are already working on private matches with custom game settings and expect to include that in a free update this summer.”
He did address the elephant in the room, which is all the additional features that the multiplayer mode had in the alpha, that are not present in the final game.
“There were a few developer tools discovered in the alpha that we knew we would need to improve before releasing to consumers and as mentioned, we are working on most of those updates now.”
Finally, he discussed some major features that players have asked for- including privately hosted servers, which he acknowledges as being unlikely, though he did note that private matches will probably be coming soon.
“Our goal for players at launch was to give them a variety of playlists to choose from so that they could have flexibility in choosing the type of play that they prefer while still keeping the player population coalesced,” Stratton said. “With that, the matchmaking system can quickly get them into a lobby with other players and then into a dedicated server that provides the best and most fair experience for all.
That said, browsing private matches seems to be something they are working on. “We feel like this will meet the greatest immediate needs of most players, like those wanting to use private matches to avoid cheaters, play exclusively with friends or setup competitive options. However, we are also still considering the features and benefits of a more traditional match browser.”
Finally, he noted that Certain Affinity are no longer working on the game, and that any future support for it – of which there seems to be quite a bit planned, some of which we should get to see at E3 this Sunday – will all be done by id and other ZeniMax studios.
It sounds, then, like the multiplayer mode for DOOM may be salvaged yet. We can’t wait to see what id have planned.