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Bethesda removing mandatory login from  Doom  re-releases after fan backlash

Bethesda removing mandatory login from Doom re-releases after fan backlash

July 29, 2019 | By Chris Kerr

How do you deftly snatch defeat from the jaws of victory? Just ask the folks over at Bethesda. 

This weekend the company surprised fans by releasing the original Doom trilogy on the Switch, before immediately scoring a whopping own goal by preventing players from accessing the game until they signed into a BethesdaNet account. 

As you can probably imagine, attaching a mandatory login requirement to a game that's over 25 years old -- a time when services like BethesdaNet didn't even exist -- didn't exactly go down well with the masses, and those affected wasted no time in expressing their rather pointed views on social media.

Realizing a mistake had been made, Bethesda suggested there had actually been a slip-up when implementing BethesdaNet support, and that logging in should have been an optional step from the get-go. 

"The BethesdaNet login requirement was included for the Slayers Club, to reward members for playing the classic Doom games," wrote the company on Twitter. "The login should be optional, and we are working on changing the requirement to optional now."

Although Bethesda moved quickly to atone for its error, the immediacy and severity of the backlash might serve as a warning to other companies wondering whether forced logins for retro titles (or even modern releases, for that matter) is a smart play. After all, if it ain't broke...

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