Xbox report hints at Doom return as company speaks on layoffs

Xbox report hints at Doom return as company speaks on layoffs
Images via id Software

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Published 

10th May 2024 10:04

Sometimes, you just want to take out your rage by picking up a chainsaw and carving your way through a bunch of demons. The long-running Doom series has given us many a therapeutic gaming session, but four years after Doom Eternal covered us in the red stuff, there's no sign of a return.

As the seminal first-person shooter (sorry, Wolfenstein 3D), Doom has kept us busy for 31 years. There have been all the typical peaks and troughs along the way, but after id Software delivered 2016's reboot, we've barely looked back. We've heard plenty about a mythical Doom 3, but so far, it's failed to materialise.

Bethesda is doubling down on what it does best

Doom Guy reboot artwork
Click to enlarge

At the start of May, Microsoft's gaming arm was rocked by the news that it was tightening its belt. In the aftermath of the $68.7 billion Activision Blizzard King deal, there are concerns that Xbox is trimming the fat to try and recoup some of its costs. This led to the tragic shuttering of Bethesda Softworks studios like Arkane Austin and Tango Gameworks.

We're not sure what's going on with Xbox's strategy right now, and it's not like its games aren't selling well. There's been a recent push to get select Xbox exclusives on other platforms, with Tango Gameswork's Hi-Fi Rush being a major hit since it came to PS5. Elsewhere, VGC reports Sea of Thieves was the best-selling game on the PlayStation Europe digital store.

In a new tell-all report, The Verge's Tom Warren has dived deeper into what's going on. Warren points to a memo from Xbox Game Studios Head Matt Booty, mentioning how changes are "grounded in prioritizing high-impact titles and further investing in Bethesda's portfolio of blockbuster games."

Booty said the new focus will be on Bethesda franchises that are "best positioned for success," which seems like a pretty direct nod to the likes of Fallout and The Elder Scrolls. After the success of Skyrim, all eyes are on The Elder Scrolls 6 to perform, while Fallout has found a whole new fandom thanks to Amazon's live-action series. 

It's not all 'Doom' and gloom

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In the report, Warren highlights how the rumoured Gears of War announcement at June's Xbox Showcase could help turn things around, while we've also got the next Call of Duty, Senua's Saga: Hellblade II, and Bethesda going hard on Indiana Jones and the Great Circle. However, it's his parting line that has raised a few eyebrows.

Warren signs off by writing, "Microsoft will be banking on some new game announcements lifting the Doom around Xbox." After capitalising 'Doom' and italicising it, it's sparked hopes of a Doom 3 announcement at the summer showcase.

Over on the GamingLeaksandRumours subreddit, gamers were equally intrigued but worried they might be looking too deeply into things. One supporter said, "Doom is the only franchise I'd really feel the loss of if it didn't launch on PlayStation. There’s nothing else quite like it."

Another added, "Hell yeah, I've been looking forward to more Doom!" but a third worried, "More like they're going to shut down id Software next." The mysterious Doom Zero Year was leaked in the FTC files, and with a Bethesda employee hyping the franchise's return earlier this year, some blood and guts could be just the cure we need for all this Xbox butchering. 

Tom Chapman
About the author
Tom Chapman
Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.
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