Bethesda’s first three fate games are available on the Nintendo Switch today. To play the titles, players must do something they have never worried about with the originals: connect to the internet and log in to their Bethesda accounts.
Bethesda did not report the login issue when the team announced that all three games went to the Switch today at the annual QuakeCon convention, but ResetEra forum administrator Nibel confirmed the news on Twitter:
It seems that DOOM 1 + 2 you have to log into your Bethesda account before you can play
After your first registration you can also play it offline
DOOM 3 requires that you log in to your BNet account "to access certain functions and / or content" pic.twitter.com/OOYcUEaRi5
– Nibel (@Nibellion) July 26, 2019
When Doom, Doom II, and Doom 3 were released, they were single-player games that did not require an internet connection, and Bethesda does not explain why players should log in now. These are not brand new games that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to produce; they are gates of old games. Bethesda also does nothing to change the gameplay. There is no reason for players to connect to their Bethesda accounts to play a game, but that is the requirement in this case.
However, it looks like it will be a temporary annoyance. fate and Doom 2 can be played offline after you have logged in. But it is just the latest news in the continued frustration of the gaming community with digital rights management (DRM), a tool often used by developers and publishers to prevent piracy. But as more titles from earlier eras of gaming are transferred to new consoles, DRM tools are increasingly examined. Players do not understand why companies such as Bethesda need people to log into their accounts to play an offline, single-player game from more than 20 years ago.
Imagine setting up a DOOM LAN party in 1993 and nobody can play because Todd's father uses the phone and you cannot verify your Pentium serial number with the activation server
– SwiftOnSecurity (@SwiftOnSecurity) July 26, 2019
The consequences of aggressive DRM tactics have even led to people suggesting it is harmful to the industry more than actual piracy. Forum threads are full of messages from people talking about buying the game, only to be greeted by the login screen in an area where they could not connect to the internet, and therefore play the game. Other people have talked about trying different tactics to completely bypass the login screen after they were asked to log in.
Bethesda did not comment on players' frustration with the discovery, but this has become a normal facet of gaming because more old-school titles are being transferred to newer systems where eternal internet connections are the norm. But the fate library is not only available on the Nintendo Switch. The company has also confirmed that Doom, Doom II, and Doom 3 are also available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Android and iOS devices.