Bethesda says it’ll get rid of the strange requirement that players must log into an online account before they play the newly re-released versions of Doom, Doom II, and Doom 3, which went live yesterday. Players quickly criticized Bethesda for the seemingly ridiculous limitation — the first of these games was released more than 25 years ago, at a time when there was obviously no internet requirement.
The online login will be made optional in a coming update, Bethesda said today. The publisher said the requirement, which signed players into its BethesdaNet service, was included to let players participate in a program that let them unlock items in Doom Eternal, a game that isn’t out yet. Bethesda now says the login “should be optional.”
Update on our new classic DOOM releases:
The BethesdaNet login requirement was included for the Slayers Club, to reward members for playing the classic DOOM games.
The login should be optional, and we are working on changing the requirement to optional now.
No timeline was given on when the requirement would be removed. Bethesda says it’ll “update everyone when a fix is ready.”
Game publishers have a long history of frustrating players with digital rights management (DRM) restrictions in an attempt to protect games from piracy. Those restrictions have often gone too far, preventing players from transferring games between devices in reasonable ways or even just cutting off access when the internet is down. The addition of a login requirement to BethesdaNet appeared to act as another form of DRM, whether that was intentional or not. Clearly, Bethesda got the message that it went a little too far in modifying decades-old games.
The Doom re-releases are out now for the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.