Few things are more Eternal than trying to get Doom to run on every conceivable device. An announcement during the first few moments of Quake-Con 2019 saw Bethesda releasing a bevy of brand new ports of the original Doom trilogy to the Switch, PS4, Xbox One, IOS, and Android. But, it wouldn’t be a modern Bethesda announcement if there wasn’t something amiss- reports from early adopters of the new ports of the game show that Bethesda is requiring users to log into the games with their BNet account information and authenticating it online before being able to play.
A tweet by user Daan Koopman shows that the Switch port of Doom requires not only a BNet login but online authentication before being able to play the game. Some users are saying that all of the other ports also require the same authentication scheme (Though this has not been 100% confirmed yet). While this may seem like a minor inconvenience at first, remember that these are bare-bones ports of Doom. Bethesda hasn’t added online play or cross-platform cooperative play or anything of the sort. These ports have local co-op, deathmatch play, a single-player campaign, and nothing more. Logging in with a BNet account gives the player nothing in return, and is unnecessary. Even worse is that this login check requires you to be online in order to authenticate. While you could sign in at home on your Switch and still be able to play without an internet connection after authenticating your copy with BNet, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine a situation where a traveler would download all three games on their Switch before a long plane ride and never boot them up once until they’re in the air; unable to sign in and play the games they’ve purchased.
— Daan Koopman (@NintenDaan) July 26, 2019
An even scarier downside to this story is that, as of posting this article, the servers for BNet are currently hammered with requests, resulting in some people having to try multiple times in order to get their login request to go through. There are also reports of people not being able to play the game offline despite having logged in as well, so your mileage may vary. While Doom is a fantastic game series worth the asking price; the added baggage of needing to create a Bethesda Network account just to play the game in single-player mode is a hurdle of which people should be wary. Early speculation is that Bethesda is using these cheaper titles to get more people to sign up to BNet so that they would have a built-in user base for their online platform which might eventually compete with Valve and Epic Games for market share. While this hasn’t been proven as the reason, there’s certainly not any other reason to have this kind of account-based authentication in Doom. Let us know in the comments below if Bethesda’s login requirements have changed your mind on picking up these classic games!
Question Block Gaming is a Youtube channel hosted by Maple, that covers all sorts of video games and culture. He’s been a gamer since 1985 and shows no signs of stopping yet.