I’ve loved Bethesda’s games since I was a kid. Fallout: New Vegas was my first RPG and I loved every single second of it, and that would be the story for every RPG Bethesda has put out since then. However, even I can admit that Bethesda has been slipping as of late.
The past couple years have been nothing but cruel to Bethesda. Their attempted online Fallout did not succeed as well as hoped, they’ve been suffering backlash for their, admittedly, outdated game engine, and overall, Bethesda has been under the microscope of the Internet.
This trend was starting to go away. That is, until Bethesda made a minor mistake and the Internet lost its collective mind.
Bethesda shocked the Nintendo Switch community this past week by releasing the original DOOM trilogy on the console. This move would’ve been easy, free positive PR for Bethesda; all 3 original DOOM games for $20 in a nice portable bundle? Forget the latest VPN deals, I need that!
Which is what I would be saying if they had tested the collection some more before release.
It’s safe to say that the original DOOMs didn’t require a.) an internet connection and b.) a Bethesda account. Well, these ports of the original do, apparently.
When the games were released on Nintendo’s eShop, users were dumbfounded when DOOM prompted them for a login with their Bethesda account. If you didn’t have one, you could simply click a link and make one. Yay! More accounts to keep track of!
This hiccup started back up the Bethesda hate train, with forums such as Reddit insulting Bethesda for the issue.
Bethesda was quick to respond though, claiming that the forced login was a bug that was not intended for final release, that the login was only to give rewards in Bethesda’s “Slayer Club”, and that they will be releasing a patch to fix it. However, what if it wasn’t an accident?
Before Bethesda’s response, users were quick to speculate that Bethesda prompted for a login in order to force users to create new accounts. After all, you literally couldn’t play the game if you didn’t login.
Even after Bethesda’s response and promise to remove the mandatory login, people were still upset. “Why was it there in the first place”? “Bethesda’s trying to see how far they can go before customers get mad”!
Both of these are comments that I saw while reading about the issue. And trust me, there are plenty more of these comments.
Some speculated that Bethesda was trying to increase the number of accounts that Bethesda.net has, but others speculated it was more: that Bethesda was trying to leach off your data.
This wouldn’t be surprising either. Bethesda has a history of misusing consumer data, and even leaked consumer’s data in their support ticket fiasco last year.
Do I think that Bethesda was truly trying to get people’s details through a forced login? No, I don’t. I think Bethesda is a bit too smart for that. If they want your name, they’ll find a sneaky way to get it. If they want your IP address, they’ll…well, they probably already have it if you ever submitted a support ticket. However, I am not resigned to the idea that Bethesda may be testing the waters for future releases. Want to play the next Elder Scrolls? Just login or create an account at Bethesda.net!
Many companies are prompting users to create new accounts, but Bethesda messed up by not playing it safer. Subtlety is important, and Bethesda’s stealth was definitely not at 100.
I still love Bethesda’s games, and I already have a Bethesda.net account because of Fallout 76(I don’t want to talk about it), so this controversy was a non-issue for me. But I hate seeing a company I once loved fall out of grace of the Internet’s favor.
However, DOOM is still as fun as ever! No amount of corporate shenanigans can ruin the blind fun that the game offers, even if Bethesda is breathing down my neck, collecting my data every few seconds.
This may be the real DOOM.