14 years and only now?
The lasting legacy of Doom shouldn’t only be attributed to the quality of the main game. Creator id Software had such a lax approach to fan creations that it eventually bought a few for a full retail release (Final Doom) as well as licensed a fan’s Linux code for Quake. Those guys loved seeing people enjoy their game and modify it however they saw fit. Boy have the times changed.
ZeniMax Media, the parent company behind Bethesda, has recently issued a takedown notice to the creator of Doom: The Roguelike. For those unaware, this fan game has been around for about 14 years and the first release predates ZeniMax’s acquisition of id Software by seven years. While that isn’t exactly grounds to base a legal defense on, it does beg the question of why the fan game is only now being targeted.
Kornel Kisielewicz, the creator of Doom: The Roguelike, is also questioning why Brutal Doom 64 received endorsement from ZeniMax and was even nominated for an award at The Game Awards. For all intents and purposes, that title violates copyright laws just as much as Kisielewicz’s creation.
So… Zenimax have just written to me demanding I take down the DoomRL site… :-/ pic.twitter.com/tXAwdq59Zz
— Kornel Kisielewicz (@epyoncf) December 2, 2016
For now, the official website for this fan game remains online. As sorry as I am to admit this, I don’t think Kisielewicz can do much to defend his game. The only course of action would be to entirely swap the character sprites, which would then alter the game to something else. He could try sticking it to the man, but entering a losing battle doesn’t seem worth it.