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ChickenOrBeef

What are the highest sales we can expect from Doom 4?

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Sure, we don't know a whole lot about Doom 4 right now, but I thought this would be an interesting question to ponder. How successful do you think a Doom installment can possibly be at this point in time if everything turned out well?


Here are some things to consider:

-We know from QuakeCon attendees what the general direction of Doom 4 will be. It's going to be fast, brutal, and old-school in many ways. However, it will also be suspenseful and moody. How will this kind of game fit into the current market? Will it appeal to both casual shooter/horror fans and hardcore Doom fans?

-This is an ID Software game on a new engine, and with Tiago Souza from Crytek at the helm, Doom 4 is most likely going to be visually impressive and cutting edge. A dynamic gore system would also be impressive. This should all be enough to grab attention and make for some impressive trailers, but the downside is that this game will release a few years into the console life-cycle, so it will release after a handful of other visually impressive games.

-We know from the announcement of the "Doom Beta" that there's going to be multiplayer, although we have no idea how it will be. A multiplayer component that catches on will obviously sustain buzz for the game and therefore provide more sales. Will it be similar to Quake 3/4/Live, but more advanced? If so, can that kind of multiplayer be popular nowadays?

-We know it's actually not going to be called "Doom 4", but rather it will simply be called "Doom". And we know it's another re-telling of the origin story. This is important because reboots are more friendly to newcomers. The reboot of Tomb Raider sold about 6 million copies by comparison, and reinvigorated the franchise.

-On one hand, Doom is a classic video game series that most gamers have at least heard of, but the last installment was released over 10 years ago. But let's also not forget the BFG Edition release a couple years ago. Did that do a good job of generating awareness of the franchise? Will ID Software have to completely re-sell the franchise to most current gamers?

-Expanding on that last point, will Bethesda put enough marketing muscle behind this game? Judging from their previous tentpole games, there will probably be a decent amount, but not on the scale of a Halo game for example.

-Most importantly, let's look at how the franchise has sold in the past. All three main installments sold about 2-4 million copies each, but the original shareware version of Doom was downloaded 15 million times*. So the franchise has never been a HUGE seller, but the free shareware version of the original game was a phenomenon at the time. That was 20 years ago though.


Discuss.

* Sales source: http://doomwiki.org/wiki/Sales

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One source described a meeting in which ZeniMax executives told Id leads that “Doom 4 can and should be as big as Skyrim,” as far as both sales and cultural impact.

Skyrim sold over 20 million copies. I really don't see how Doom 4 would come anywhere near that figure, but time will tell.

I do think it's worth remembering that executives are pushing for Doom 4 to be a monster seller, and so they are going to push for it to do the sort of things that monster sellers do, cough cough extensive online multiplayer, cough cough open world.

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Linguica said:

Skyrim sold over 20 million copies. I really don't see how Doom 4 would come anywhere near that figure, but time will tell.


Yeah, Skyrim is the definitive open-world RPG. It's what every modern RPG gets compared to (such as Dragon Age: Inquisition and The Witcher 3). So in order for Doom 4 to achieve the same status and sales, it will have to become the definitive sci-fi shooter, or something along those lines. It's possible, but everything about the release will have to click. It will need to be a great game, it will need multiplayer that stays relevant, and it will need good release timing.

Linguica said:

cough cough extensive online multiplayer, cough cough open world.


I wouldn't say there's anything wrong with those two goals, especially multiplayer. It's the open-world aspect that would have to be done carefully. Hell, John Romero himself said if he could make Doom 4 it would focus on multiplayer and an open-world. The question is...should ID Software provide a fully inhabited open-world, or something simpler that still allows for exploration and choice? Rage was somewhere in the middle.

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ChickenOrBeef said:

Yeah, Skyrim is the definitive open-world RPG. It's what every modern RPG gets compared to (such as Dragon Age: Inquisition and The Witcher 3). So in order for Doom 4 to achieve the same status and sales, it will have to become the definitive sci-fi shooter, or something along those lines. It's possible, but everything about the release will have to click. It will need to be a great game, it will need multiplayer that stays relevant, and it will need good release timing.



I wouldn't say there's anything wrong with those two goals, especially multiplayer. It's the open-world aspect that would have to be done carefully. Hell, John Romero himself said if he could make Doom 4 it would focus on multiplayer and an open-world. The question is...should ID Software provide a fully inhabited open-world, or something simpler that still allows for exploration and choice? Rage was somewhere in the middle.

Linguica said:

Skyrim sold over 20 million copies. I really don't see how Doom 4 would come anywhere near that figure, but time will tell.

I do think it's worth remembering that executives are pushing for Doom 4 to be a monster seller, and so they are going to push for it to do the sort of things that monster sellers do, cough cough extensive online multiplayer, cough cough open world.


Hmm, maybe if they made it after the Doom Bible it would fit that criteria.

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DooM_RO said:

Hmm, maybe if they made it after the Doom Bible it would fit that criteria.


Well, there are essentially five franchises that have reached that level of sales in recent years (excluding all those first-party Nintendo games):

-Elder Scrolls
-Grand Theft Auto
-Call of Duty
-Diablo
-Battlefield

As you can see, two of those franchises are fully open-world, two are linear but have popular multiplayer components, and Diablo is semi-open.

So I wouldn't say it's necessary for Doom 4 to be a fully open-world game, nor do I think it would be natural for the series. You don't exactly hear people saying, "Man, I've always wanted an open-world Doom game!". Rather, I think a kickass multiplayer component would be the most important aspect needed to really become a smash hit.

If Doom 4 is going to be open-world though, I feel it will end up something like Batman: Arkham Asylum. The entire game map is open and you can choose where to go, but it's not like there are a bunch of towns to visit and NPCs talking to you.

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Take Rage's sales, double them, and I guess that's the best you can expect from Doom 4.

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Gez said:

Take Rage's sales, double them, and I guess that's the best you can expect from Doom 4.


Rage sold around 3 million copies across all platforms. If Doom 4 does 6 million copies, then that's pretty much what I'd expect. If the game's budget is reasonable, then that should be a success. But seeing as Doom 4 has been in development for a long time, there's a good chance Zenimax wants a higher return on investment, and expects north of 10 million copies sold.

So basically, I'd say it could go anywhere from 5 million to 10 million. Below that range would mean it's a disappointing game and above that range would basically mean Doom 4 is even more popular than Doom 1, which would be quite the feat.

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Skyrim sold many copies mainly due to advertising, but honestly it can't be compared to The Witcher 3 nor Dragon Age: Inquisition, they are fairly new games and are likely more superior to a generic RPG such as Skyrim.

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Avoozl said:

Skyrim sold many copies mainly due to advertising, but honestly it can't be compared to The Witcher 3 nor Dragon Age: Inquisition, they are fairly new games and are likely more superior to a generic RPG such as Skyrim.


Were there really that many ads for Skyrim? I don't recall that many. But if you feel that's the case, then that would be good news for Doom 4. If Bethesda pushed Skyrim that hard, then they'll most likely push Doom 4 just as hard.

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