Doom is one of those games that changed an entire industry, not in the way ET on the Atari 2600 did. Doom revolutionised a genre that without the oomph provided by John Romero and ID software, would have potentially died out within a decade. Games like Wolfenstein and Doom made the FPS genre the largest sub-category in gaming culture, alone Doom garnered the attention of approximately 20 million players.
Maybe saying that gaming would have died out without Doom is an overreaction but without Doom you probably wouldn’t have Halo or COD, both of which bring in billions (Around $10 billion has been spent on COD overall and $3.6 billion on Halo) and this helped shape gaming as an industry that creates hundreds of jobs a year. But this is more about the impact Doom had on games as a whole rather than the industry, so let’s talk about 3D games.
Doom was one of the earliest examples of a fully 3D shooter, whilst the first 3D shooter was Maze War in 1974 it wasn’t until the 90s when the FPS genre exploded. The blood and gore of Doom helped it embed itself in people’s minds with the controversy surrounding it, games like GTA and God of War later used their controversial nature to fuel market interest in their games.
The game had a great story and with dramatic twists and turns it showed that games aren’t just all action, the story carried over into its sequels and has spawned everything from a (terrible) movie and several novelizations. The game became so popular that around its release people referred to other FPS games as “Doom clones” before the term FPS was widely used, although to be honest a lot of games around that time were literally Doom clones.
Sadly it seems no game has revolutionised the genre in the way Doom did since, with most modern FPS games just building on the formula set my Doom. Unfortunately it seems the upcoming remake will not be reshaping the industry as some hoped but it certainly won’t be bad, perhaps Doom gave so much to the industry that it could be decades before the genre becomes so saturated it needs John Romero to wave his magic wand and remake the market.
So my next Doom feature will be about why Doom isn’t the revolutionary game everyone says it is, so stay tuned for that! The month of May is Doom Month here on G33k P0p so for more Doom, keep it G33k!