ZeniMax, the parent company of Bethesda, the current studio presiding over id Software, the makers of Doom, have hit Kornel Kisielewicz with a cease and desist order for DoomRL.
The developer worked with artist Derek Yu to create a rogue-like, isometric version of Doom in the form of DoomRL. It’s been a freeware title on the internet since 2002.
Kisielewicz posted up the letter from ZeniMax to his Twitter account, which you can view below.
So… Zenimax have just written to me demanding I take down the DoomRL site… :-/ pic.twitter.com/tXAwdq59Zz
— Kornel Kisielewicz (@epyoncf) December 2, 2016
Some people in his mentions interpreted it as them wanting him to remove any slight references to id Software, Bethesda or visible trademarked material. Of course, Kisielewicz pointed out that the monsters in DoomRL are basically recreations from Derek Yu based on the same monsters from the old Doom games on PC. And he didn’t want to get rid of Yu’s work.
This is not uncommon and happens frequently in the world of gaming. A lot of freeware projects pop up from fans and communities wanting to pay tribute to some of their favorite gaming properties out there. A fanmade version of Metal Gear Solid was recently brought down by Konami. There was Pokemon Uranium and the 30th anniversary celebration game for Metroid called Another Metroid Remake 2, both of which were brought down by Nintendo.
Kisielewicz isn’t based out of America but resides in Wroclaw, Poland, so he’s left the website for DoomRL up. You can still visit the official DoomRL website and download the latest version of the game, which was released three years ago back in March of 2013.
At the moment, Kisielewicz is currently working on a game based on what they worked on with DoomRL called Jupiter Hell. It’s an original IP that’s essentially an isometric version of Doom. The Kickstarter page for Jupiter Hell is still alive and well, and has actually seen a small bump up in donations since the cease and desist was sent out.
Some people have backed the game out of spite for ZeniMax trying to shut down a freeware title that’s been available to the public since 2002 and hasn’t been updated since three years ago.