***Update 1 – 2016-12-03 – 13:50 CET***
I just wanted to drop a little update on the situation with Zenimax Media DoomRL and Jupiter Hell. For starter, I think I need to do some clarification of the part that concerns the e-mail that Zenimax sent to Kornel Kisielewicz. Because I originally stated that it was a DMCA takedown request by Zenimax, but apparently that wasn´t the case (sorry, my bad). You see, it was a trademark kind of request. Simply put, Zenimax doesn´t want DoomRL to use the Doom name anymore. So the problem should be solved by changing the name of the game, the logo and the site name. As for Jupiter Hell, the game seems to be homesafe:
“A big piece of news has happened overnight – ZeniMax, owners of the Doom IP, have issued a cease and desist against Doom the Roguelike. We’re not sure how we’re going to deal with this yet (things don’t look good!) but Jupiter Hell at least is unaffected. As a silver lining the press have responded well to this, and we’ve had overwhelming comments of support and solidarity from community members. We’re extremely grateful for this!” – Lukas Sliwinski, lead artist Jupiter Hell
Another thing that is worth mentioning is that Lukas Sliwinski (team Jupiter Hell) brought us (TGG) up in his Kickstarter update (update #7). Long story short, he thanked us for publishing the story about Zenimax Vs DoomRL (that part made my day). So a big thanks to Sliwinski for bringing us up! And I wish him the best of luck with Jupiter Hell. I also hope that everything will turn out just fine for DoomRL in the end.
Jupiter Hell via Kickstarter
Today has been a very mixed day of emotions for me, because as you might already know. I´ve been a fan of ID´s “Doom” series since 1993. So I got really happy when I found out that Zenimax endorsed “Brutal Doom 64” and Sergeant Mark IV, and that Bethesda and ID´s “Doom 2016” won the Best Action Game and Best Music at The Game Awards last night (Mick Gordon´s live performance kicked tons of ass!). However, I got really sad and upset when I found out that it appears as if Zenimax told Kornel Kisielewicz (the Author of DoomRL) to close down the DoomRL site (which they did yesterday, as seen in the picture down below).
Well, what can I say really? In all honesty, I find the whole thing to be both absurd, bizarre and just plain ridiculous…For starter, it makes absolutely zero sense to me how Zenimax media (the owners of Bethesda, ID and the Doom IP) could endorse Sergeant Mark IV´s total conversion of “Brutal Doom 64” (I love that game to bits, but I´ll get to the point shortly), and at the same time make a douche move towards DoomRL (Doom: The Roguelike) by asking Kornel Kisielewicz to close down the game´s homepage. Well, at least I find that to be a really unlogic and strange move, as Zenimax pets one fan-made Doom creation (in this case, “Brutal Doom 64”) while slapping another fan mad Doom creation in the face (“DoomRL) with the other hand.
Furthermore, here´s some more interesting facts that are worth pointing out. “Doom RL” was released back in 2002, “Brutal Doom” launched in 2012, and “Brutal Doom 64” was released on the 30th of October this year (2016). In other words, it makes zero sense to me how Zenimax could endorse “Brutal Doom 64” and in the same breath slam “DoomRL” to the ground. I should also point out that Doom RL is based on the original Doom game (that game was released back in 1993), so it isn´t like DoomRL is based on a recently released Doom title. Nevertheless, none of that seems to matter all that much to Zenimax. Because I hardly doubt that they will reverse their DMCA claim against DoomRL…So I guess that DoomRL will soon be dead in the water (just like in the case with Nintendo Vs AM2R).
Sure, I understand that legal aspect of this. As Zenimax has the legal right to do a DMCA claim against DoomRL (they own the Doom IP, so in their eyes, they´re just protecting their property). However, when it comes to PR and fan relations, this was not a good move by Zenimax. Because there are plenty of players around the globe that enjoys DoomRL (a game that´s 100% free). In other words, they have pissed of a lot of people and consumers. I also find it to be rather interesting that a big company like Zenimax would go after a fan made free-to-play game like “DoomRL”.
Then again, Nintendo has been doing the very same thing for years. Even so, I don´t get what Zenimax is going to gain by doing this? Personally, if I were the one who called the shots over at Zenimax, then I would just have bought DoomRL instead. As I find that to be a win-win situation for everyone (the game lives on, the creator gets paid and more people get a chance to play and enjoy the game. All while I´m spreading the word out about the Doom IP all over the world to a new generation of players), but that´s just me and who I work (I´m not a greedy nor a selfish person).
I also thought about another thing. You see, earlier today I spotted a very good and perfectly timed tweet by Mark Kern on the matter of dropping sales for AAA games (as seen in the picture down below). My point would be that Gamers are starting to get fed-up with recycled ideas, half-broken and overpriced games, and the hard truth is that it´s the indie, mod and fan made game scene that keeps the game industry interesting and creative.
Simply put, if big companies such as Zenimax will continue to go after fan-made games, mods and whatnot. Then they will just shoot themselves in the foot, because the hard truth is that it´s the fans who keep most of today´s AAA titles alive with their own content (mods, fan games and so on). That´s also why I´m worried that Zenimax will go after “MiniDoom” and it´s creators as well (MiniDoom II is in the making as we speak…). Well, time will tell. One thing is for sure though, the damage has already been done with Zenimax DMCA claim against DoomRL…And in my opinion, it´s never a good idea to bite the hand that feds. So the ball is in Zenimax court, and it´s up to them to make the right calls (I have never ever been a fan of cooperate greed, especially not when it kills creativity and awesome creations).
And with that said, what´s your take on this matter? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below!
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.
I´m a fan of DoomRL, Brutal Doom, MiniDoom and other fan made Doom projects.
Robin “V-Act” Ek
The Gaming Ground
More by Robin Ek:
Save 3$ with our Play-Asia coupon code "thegg"