A Billion Years Later, The Doom Closed Beta Finally Has A Release Date

Before the concept of a "beta" was even a thing that every single AAA game had to have in some way shape or form, the idea of bundling participation in a closed beta to those who purchased a different game from the same publisher was pretty common. The earliest example I can remember is the Halo 3 beta being attached to Crackdown way back in 2006, which I'm sure in its own way helped that game push a lot of copies back in the day. The tactic isn't used quite as often in the modern age (usually because closed beta access comes from those who pre-order the ACTUAL game, often times months in advanced), but publishers will still sometimes use it as a means of sweetening a deal for a maybe-not-guaranteed blockbuster game release.

Probably the highest profile (or most notable, at least) case in recent years is Bethesda's decision to bundle in access to the Doom beta with Wolfenstein: The New Order, a game that came out way back in the fantasy time of May 2014. This was such a strange decision simply due to the nature of the Doom reboot at the time — Bethesda had literally revealed nothing about it, with not a single footage of the game actually shown off to the public until its E3 unveiling last year. That meant the publisher was teasing out the beta for a game that had yet to see the light of day, and considering the troubled nature of the franchise in the new millennium, could easily NEVER see it.

Thankfully this Doom seems to be the real deal, as Bethesda's impressive gameplay showing last year teased, and release date announcement of May 13, 2016 confirmed. And rest assured Doom fans who clung on to the hope of their Wolfenstein purchase leading to a closed beta for the new game – you will be awarded come March 31, as the closed beta will open then and continue on until April 3. See, patience IS worth it...sometimes, at least.

For those who didn't buy Wolfenstein, I wouldn't fret -- the "closed beta followed by open beta a few weeks later" method has been pretty tried and true lately, so I imagine a similar thing will go on with Doom, even if Bethesda hasn't confirmed such a thing at this time. In any case, it's nice to know that this game is indeed alive and well, and will have the opportunity to be played by all come May. If you need evidence why that is such a great thing, well, just take another gander at that gameplay presentation.

Doom's back baby. And that box art, up above, is the sickest thing ever. Totally should have won that alternate cover contest, because the actual box art is really generic and bad.

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