Classic Doom Games Arrive on Switch, Require Bethesda Login and Internet Connection

"BFG" actually stands for "Beans for Goku"

Quakecon 2019 is in full swing, and as a special surprise ahead of Doom Eternal‘s November release, id Software has made Doom, Doom 2, and Doom 3 available on modern consoles for the first time. Weirdly, Doom and Doom 2 both require an internet connection and mandate that players login to a Bethesda Net account. This isn’t a huge deal on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, but for Nintendo Switch owners, it means they’ll be unable to play classic Doom games on the subway, bus, or anywhere without an internet connection.

This eats, to be perfectly honest. For 30-something-year-old games that are being sold at $5 a pop on the Nintendo Switch eShop, it seems like a lot of effort for id to go to the trouble of coding in participation in the Bethesda Net ecosystem. This is undoubtedly an effort to boost free Bethesda Net signups, and while I’m sure it will be a successful effort, it’s bizarre and disappointing that id would hamstring the Switch ports’ functionality to get more emails on a mailing list. Classic games like Doom and Doom 2 are perfect for filling the free moments of a day, and since Switch owners play games in portable mode50 percent of the time, it’s not like people wouldn’t want to enjoy Doom this way.

There is, of course, the option of tethering your Switch to your cell phone and connecting to the internet that way, but that’s a lot of unnecessary hassle to kill some demons. It also requires your phone to have signal, which isn’t always the case on car trips or in subways, and assumes that tethering something to your phone doesn’t activate some kind of hidden data fee, which also isn’t always the case. It’d be a lot easier for everyone if these had just been straight ports of the original games, but alas, it seems capitalism is the one demon Doom Slayer can’t kill.

For whatever reason, Doom 3 doesn’t list the need for a Bethesda Net account in its eShop fine print, so it looks like you can play that however you want. Hooray?

If you are into the idea of playing Doom or Doom 2 at home, these at least appear to be fully featured ports. Doom comes with its expansion, Episode IV: Thy Flesh Consumed, and includes support for local/online co-op and deathmatch modes. Doom 2 also supports local/online co-op and deathmatch, and comes packed with The Master Levels, which are 20 id-approved community levels. It does not, however, include No Rest for the Living, which was a new expansion developed by Nerve Software for the Xbox 360’s Xbox Live Arcade port of Doom 2. Doom 3, for its part, comes with both of its expansion packs, Resurrection of Evil and The Lost Missions. It also costs $10 instead of $5, which I guess is some kind of flashlight tax.

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Jordan Mallory

Jordan is a frog that lives in Texas and loves Girls Generation. He's also the Fanbyte Podcast Producer! Before that he wrote video game news for almost ten years at a lot of websites you've heard of, including this one.

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