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Doom Eternal launch sales break franchise records, doubles Doom 2016 numbers
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Bethesda Softworks today announced that the Doom Slayer's return last week was an especially grand one, with Doom Eternal managing to set franchise sales records alongside receiving high praise from critics and fans alike.
Though no exact numbers were shared, the id Software-developed title had doubled the launch revenue of the Doom 2016 reboot. The shooter had also become the best-selling game of the week on Steam, touting concurrent player numbers that soared over the 100,000 mark on the platform. This is without even counting Bethesda.net buyers on PC, though once again, numbers for that nor any console figures were detailed in the announcement.
In the reviews department, the game managed to do quite well also. Metacritic currently has the PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 review scores set at 90, 89, and 87 respectively. The Steam user review score also paints a similar picture, which is currently showing a Very Positive verdict - 91% recommended - totaled from over 24,000 reviews.
"We want to thank our millions of fans for their enthusiastic support of this amazing title," said the SVP of Global Sales at Bethesda Softworks, Ron Seger. “Despite thousands of retail stores closing, we are pleased so many fans have been able to enjoy DOOM Eternal."
Doom Eternal is now available on PC via Steam and Bethesda.net, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Google Stadia. The Switch version that has been announced is still under development, and is slated to launch sometime later this year.
Doom re-releases get 60FPS, add-ons and other features, also now out on PC
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Last year, Bethesda re-released the classic Doom games for quite a number of modern platforms, including Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and mobile. Today, Bethesda pushed out a major new update to the games adding a suite of new features while simultaneously launching the Doom and Doom II re-releases on PC.
The PC versions are now available to purchase on the Bethesda.net launcher, and those who already own the classic original DOS-based games will get the updated versions for free. Moreover, purchasing the new versions also gives copies of the original games.
Moving onto the new features that are now available on all the platforms, the biggest of the bunch is add-ons support for Doom and Doom II. Players may now download and play free add-ons Bethesda has curated, which has TNT: Evilution, The Plutonia Experiment, SIGIL, and No Rest for the Living, with more on the way. PC and Android players, however, can also use their own WAD files in addition to the provided ones to customize their experience.
Other new features that have been implemented include 60FPS support over the 35FPS previously available, quick save and quick load, level select, a weapon carousel, an aspect ratio option, and more, all of which arrive alongside performance improvements and bug fixes. See the patch notes and the add-ons FAQ page Bethesda has setup over here to get the full picture.
Don't worry, Halo Wars isn't leaving Xbox Game Pass
by João Carrasqueira
Earlier today, some users noticed that the Xbox Game Pass app for iOS had been updated with a handful of additions to the list of games slated to leave the service soon. Among the titles included on the list were the 2016 title DOOM and Halo Wars: Definitive Edition, the latter of which stirred up some fans because Larry Hryb, also known as Major Nelson, had previously suggested that first-party exclusive titles would never leave the Game Pass subscription.
If you were one of the people who were unhappy with the apparent removal of the aforementioned titles, the Xbox Game Pass Twitter account clarified that neither DOOM nor Halo Wars will be leaving the service - at least, not yet.
It's worth noting that the tweet specifically states the games aren't leaving the subscription "at this time", which doesn't invalidate the possibility that they will be removed eventually. The idea that Microsoft-owned titles would never leave the platform may stem from an inaccurate interpretation of Hryb's words. As Eurogamer's Tom Philips noted at the time, it seems like the promise was to continuously add Xbox exclusive titles to the platform on a permanent basis, not to keep existing titles on the platform forever.
With that being said, at least for now, you can keep enjoying DOOM and Halo Wars through the Xbox Game Pass subscription. There are, however, four other titles still slated to leave soon - The Escapists, Darksiders 2: Deathinitive Edition, GRIP, and Thief of Thieves - so you may want to play those while you can.
Update: Microsoft has reached out to Neowin to provide further clarification in this regard. Halo Wars, and other titles from Xbox Game Studios, are planned to stay on Xbox Game Pass going forward, so they won't be removed.
Doom re-releases updated to allow play without needing a Bethesda account
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
During QuakeCon last month, Bethesda surprise launched a series of Doom re-releases on modern platforms including Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Android, and iOS devices. This involved the original Doom, Doom II, and Doom 3. However, users quickly found that the Doom and Doom II ports needed them to have a Bethesda.net account to even start playing the classics, leading to some disgruntled customers.
Bethesda released a statement a day after the launch saying this requirement was supposed to be optional, and that it would be updating the games to fix this. Today, the company confirmed that this update has been deployed as a hotfix across all the aforementioned platforms.
In addition to adding an option to skip the login, this hotfix also removes the disconnect notification that would pop up if the device lost connection with the server. Moreover, Bethesda added that "a more permanent fix to further reduce the visibility of the optional login" is also being worked on, but there isn't a firm release date for this yet.
By Hamza Jawad
GitHub confirms heavy restrictions in U.S.-sanctioned regions like Iran and Syria
by Hamza Jawad
U.S. trade sanctions upon certain regions having led to companies limiting their services in these countries isn't something new. Last year, Slack ended up accidentally banning anyone who logged in from Iran, a mistake it soon rectified. However, it has since blocked all Iran-based activity, in compliance with U.S. regulations.
It looks like other firms may now be following suit, with GitHub announcing its stance with regards to the issue in a statement on its website. Availability in these areas, which include Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria, is being heavily restricted, with users only being allowed limited access to the world's largest source code repository host for personal, non-commercial usage.
The firm noted that private repositories will be unavailable for residents in the aforementioned regions, with the same applying to paid services such as private organizational accounts or the GitHub Marketplace as well. Essentially, this only leaves behind certain free services that can be utilized. Furthermore, users are also prohibited from disguising their locations through IP proxies and VPNs. Those who now have restricted private repos can choose to make them public, in order to continue accessing them.
In a series of tweets, GitHub CEO Nat Friedman stated the company's pain at people being affected by this move, but effectively acknowledged that it was powerless due to the U.S. trade laws.
As expected, people did not take kindly to the announcement, with many pointing out that alternate arrangements that could have been undertaken. For example, Slack blocks IP addresses in Iran, but does not block all accounts belonging to these regions. This enables users to still retain access through VPNs, though as has been mentioned before, GitHub has chosen not to go down the same route.
The restrictions will be applied based on users' locations, and not their nationality or ethnicity. This means that only those attempting to gain access to GitHub while being present in a sanctioned region will be affected. People who believe their accounts have been banned due to an error will be able to appeal the decision through an account reactivation request process.