Unleashing the Next Era: Doom Goes Multi-Platform, A Testament to Gaming Unity

In a conversation heard around Gaming’s hallowed halls, Xbox head Phil Spencer chats with the IGN Live crew in an after-showcase debrief that saw most in the gaming world clench their metaphorical seats after the biggest reveals of the event. The biggest announcement has nothing to do with hardware, though. To help celebrate the original Doom’s 25th anniversary, Doom: The Dark Ages is poised to be the first prequel, in a series that’s now more than twice as old as the players that grew up playing it. And to top it all off, the game is a day-one launch for PLAYSTATION 5, XBOX SERIES X/S and PC. It’s quite the pivot for an industry that’s largely been at each other’s throats.

The Genesis of a Multi-Platform Masterpiece

The origins of Doom: The Dark Ages go back to discussions full of inclusivity and expansionist ideals. When Phil Spencer met with id Software Studio Director Marty Stratton and the two of them envisioned a future for Doom in which every gamer, no matter which platform they use, could play, he said: ‘Doom is one of those franchises that has been everywhere on every platform – it’s the kind of franchise you want to make available to as many people as possible. I think everyone deserves to play it.’ This expansionist spirit reflected Stratton’s desire to make it possible for the game to be played on any platform.

Breaking Boundaries: From Concept to Multi-Platform Reality

The unveiling of Doom: The Dark Ages at the latest Xbox Showcase was a moment of narrative and gameplay innovation, but it was also a confirmation of Xbox’s nascent philosophy – its commitment to Project Latitude. This isn’t some corporate strategy. This is Xbox’s manifesto to dismantle the walls between gamer nations. Its commitment to that principle was reaffirmed with the multiplatform releases of Xbox exclusives such as Grounded and Sea of Thieves. ‘We must continue to evolve… and if we cannot, we risk Xbox and our industry’s long-term success.’ Xbox is not just preaching Project Latitude, it is practising Project Latitude.

Delving into the Dark Ages: A Prelude to Peril

Although it serves as a prequel to the upcoming Doom reboot, there’s more to Doom: The Dark Ages than just a teaser. It’s a gateway into our own mythic era of dark fantasy, of gods and kings and monsters, and you wear the armoured boots of the Slayer and get to slaughter everything in it. It’s also that it’s being developed by a team who have been hard at work for years to make it look as inviting as it sounds, taking their roots in hard, close-quarters combat to another era.

A Vision Shared: The Console Coalition

The decision to move it to multi-platform release for Doom: The Dark Ages represents the gaming industry more widely moving towards unity and accessibility. Actively breaking down the walls that isolated console gamers from one another, Xbox and PlayStation ring in a world where the joy of gaming becomes a shared good, free from the confines of console allegiance. Under Phil Spencer and Marty Stratton, that commitment begins a new era for gamers across the globe, and signals what the future of console coexistence may look like.

Looking Ahead: What This Means for Gamers

When Xbox launches Doom: The Dark Ages in 2025, it won’t just be a triumph for the sci-fi FPS genre, but for the culture of gaming as a whole. Xbox’s move to end exclusivity, one playfully backed by PlayStation, may well usher in an era of unprecedented cooperation, where exclusivity cedes to the exhilaration of playing together. As we approach our shared tomorrow, one thing becomes increasingly clear: the walls that divide us are crumbling away.

Understanding Consoles: The Gateway to Gaming Universes

Because, after all, consoles have always been bridges, different and unique entryways to otherwise unimaginable worlds. They started out humble – the bleeding edge of cartridge-based technology – but have grown into elaborate, internet-connected devices, the casual interfaces into which so many of us now plug for unimaginable fun. Even now, the reach of consoles passes through all of this, taking tentative steps of cooperation – such as the multi-platform release of Doom: The Dark Ages – that in their own casual way repeat the technological optimism of the very first generation of mobile gaming devotees. Long may consoles live.

And we’re just in the first chapter of a cosmic new ethos – in which consoles as we know them aren’t the launch points for turf wars between corporate giants, but the neutral territory on which the wild frontier of gaming culture kicks dirt and blows smoke. On this reading, Doom: The Dark Ages’ odyssey from classic series to pathfinder for cross-platform launches isn’t just a step in the evolution of the series, but a reminder of unity in an ongoing story of the gaming world.

Jun 10, 2024
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