Rebooting a franchise can create a tricky situation when it comes to names. Should you stick with the name of the original, slap “Remake” at the end, or change things up? In the case of the historic demon shooter series Doom, Bethesda and id Software opted with the all-caps “DOOM” to distinguish this new iteration. Its success made a sequel a safe bet, but some fans were surprised by the decision to name it DOOM Eternal.
So what prompted this subtitle for the sequel to the reboot? Speaking with IGN at QuakeCon 2018, Executive Producer Marty Stratton explained. As it turns out, id was somewhat worried about brand confusion after “DOOM 2016” became the popular way to refer to the reboot.
“You hear us say it all the time, we call it Doom 2016, and the internet has called it Doom 2016. We go back and forth on whether it was a mistake to call it Doom. I still don’t think it was a mistake, because we really were kind of drawing a new line in the sand… coming out and saying ‘we’re going to do Doom 2,’ we would have ‘Doom 2: Year of Release Date.'”
— Marty Stratton
Creative Director Hugo Martin added that naming it DOOM 2 would create problems with search engines. Instead, the marketing and creative teams had a meeting to deliberate on a name “that had meaning and spoke to what we were doing with lore and how we want people to feel about the game.” In the end, DOOM Eternal was the winner. Martin also compared the naming decision to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, as each entry has its own distinct title despite being part of a connected story.