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Thirty Years of id Software

Doom is probably one of the most influential titles of all time. Why? You had to be there. id created something that changed the course of video game history.

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It’d be a lie to say there was nothing else like it at the time, although it wouldn’t be too big an exaggeration. Wolfenstein – again from id – had come out the year before. But there was something that just clicked with Doom. It probably helped that it was eventually on every platform under the sun, and was almost immediately copied by other developers.

Today, id Software turned 30. Over those 30 years, the company has defined the FPS genre, been left behind and then found itself again. Today, they’re as well respected as they’ve ever been – and the future is looking bright.

Return of the Doom Guy

This isn’t a retrospective. There are a tonne of them out there, and I’m sure they’ll do it justice just as well as I could.

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Instead, this is a celebration. This is a celebration of the fact that Doom – 28 years after the fact – is still massively enjoyable. Granted, it’s usually not the same game they were playing in 1993, but that’s not important.

What’s important is that, so often, these forerunners age worse than they should. Citizen Kane isn’t the technical marvel it was in 1941 because so much has been borrowed from it in the 80 years since. The Seinfeld Effect was named after the sit-com for this very reason.

Doom has stayed pretty fresh. While Halo and Call Of Duty revolutionised the FPS landscape, Doom kept to its own little thing, and came back stronger than ever in 2016, and again to critical acclaim in 2020.

How many franchises can claim to be as relevant now as they were in 1993?

In and around id

And if Doom had been the end of the story, that would have been good enough. We’ve already mentioned Wolfenstein, which is rumoured to have a new entry (possibly exclusive to Xbox) over the next 11 months.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood 2

But Quake was also a defining title of the mid-to-late 90s. Arena shooters were all the rage, and I’m sure the likes of Goldeneye and Perfect Dark wouldn’t have been as popular without Quake perfecting the formula first.

Over the next month or so, Microsoft‘s purchase of Bethesda (and id) will be complete, and a new era for the company will begin. That new era will no doubt be marked by equally brilliant games, all available through Gamepass on day one.

It’ll be interesting to see what impact, if any, this has on future Doom games. And not just that, but the ability to release exclusively on next-gen consoles and higher end PCs too. Between an owner with deep pockets and a technical baseline far higher than anything before, it’ll be great to see what’s happening with Doom by the time id turns 35 and even 40.

Thirty Years of id Software – Conclusion

To celebrate the occasion, id took to Twitter to mark 30 years.

“We couldn’t be prouder of our id team,” they tweeted. “We all look forward with tremendous excitement and ambition to what we have ahead. Thank you for being part of our journey.”

 

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blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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