Doom Eternal wouldn’t be the same game without it being delayed, according to executive producer Marty Stratton.
Speaking to VG247, Stratton explained that the team at id Software were working long hours in the lead up to the delay, and that pushing Doom Eternal back has let the team get the game up to the level of quality they feel their effort deserves.
“I say it's the best game we've ever made. I don't think I'd say that if we didn't have that extra time,” Stratton said.
“The game was done, we haven't added anything but what [the delay] allowed us to do was fix a tonne more bugs.
“It allowed us to do a lot of polishing, hardening of the back-end systems and we do testing throughout where we bring in people externally. We did a couple of additional versions of those and made a couple of additions to the game, just balance-type things and patching up a couple of exploits.”
Developer crunch has been a big discussion topic over the last couple of years, with heavy criticism aimed at many triple-A developers for fostering cultures of expected overtime at the expense of staff wellbeing.
Stratton said that while the id studio leadership try to encourage developers to take the time they need, many choose to work late, and some amount of crunch is necessary.
“We were crunching pretty hard most of last year. It goes in phases,” Stratton explained.
“We'll have one group of people crunching so the next group of people are teed up properly. As they get done, they may need to crunch a little bit.
“We really truly do try and be very respectful of peoples' time and lives. We have very dedicated people that just choose to work a lot in many cases. It was nice because we want the game to be perfect. We want it to live up to our expectations and consumer expectations.
He went on to say: “We work very hard and we'll put in extra time to do that. Sometimes when we just get the extra time we do it anyways because we want it to be that much better.
“[A delay] takes a little bit of the steam and pressure out but it's almost one of those things where we'll push it even harder to get even more just as tight as it possibly can be.”
While there’s still no firm release window, Stratton hinted that we might see it sooner rather than later.
“We're not talking about the launch date, so I can't specify. But it's not ridiculously far behind,” he teased. “We're working hard on it. Panic Button is working hard on it. I don't think people will be too disappointed.”