Bethesda vice president Pete Hines talked to editors from Official Xbox Magazine (via Games Radar) about myriad topics, including its growth as a publisher and its joint decision with id Software to reboot Doom.
As revealed in No Clip's excellent and extensive Doom documentary, Doom 4 started out more akin to Call of Duty than a proper Doom sequel.
"With Doom it was a tipping point that we reached where we looked at it and said, 'This game is not hitting the marks it needs to hit,'" Hines explained. "And it wasn't just Bethesda, it was id coming to us and saying, 'It's not that it's not a good game or an okay game, but it's just not Doom. It's veered from the things that we think Doom should be about.'"
From the sounds of it, Bethesda let id call the shots, and id made the call to scrap "Call of Doom" and rebuild the game from the ground up.
"We essentially cancelled a game. That's what we did," Hines said. "We cancelled a thing that people had spent a long time working on and we'd spent a lot of money to get to that point and then we cancelled it and basically started over. Which is never easy to do. But it was because we believed in and agreed with the notion of: if this is going to be a success, if it's going to be worth all this time and effort, then it has to be the right thing, executed the right way."
That decision fell in line with Bethesda's general approach to working with development studios. "Games are hard to make and sometimes things happen. But we never take that stuff like, 'Oh, it's fine, take as long as you want," Hines clarified. "No, we have a business and we need to try and make money on this and pay everybody on time. So we don't take that stuff lightly. But we do believe that, ultimately, if the game isn't good and isn't right, then this has all been for nothing."