Another surprise release, another amazing weekend for the games industry. Let’s do this more often.

Bethesda made a big splash recently with the release of DoomDoom 2 and Doom 3 across several platforms, but one in particular stood out. The Doom trilogy is now available on Nintendo Switch, a surprise reveal that has the gaming world buzzing.

The QuakeCon 2019 reveal of the Doom trilogy’s port to the Switch is just one example of major surprises this year. Although it feels like a long time, Apex Legends is only half a year old right now. That game’s surprise launch in February this year caught the gaming world unaware and quickly became the winter’s biggest multiplayer phenomenon. How much of that was down to the nature of its release?

It’s not like Apex Legends isn’t a strong game in its own right, but surprise reveals always get people talking. The buzz around Apex Legends was so loud because we were so excited by a new, unheard-of game taking the world by storm. In a world where we see games drip-fed to us over years of development, surprises are a nice break.

In a world where we see games drip-fed to us over years of development, surprises are a nice break.

Surprise releases are constantly some of the most fascinating talking points in the days surrounding their launch. Collection of Mana‘s sudden debut during E3 2019 was a huge positive for Nintendo. Just a few years ago, Square Enix launched Final Fantasy IX on PS4 during Tokyo Game Show 2017 to strong approval from fans.

This method has even proven effective with niche games like Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition HD. The Doom trilogy certainly isn’t that, and the excitement around its release is proof more publishers need to give surprise releases a try soon.

seperator

Cody's Take

Author

Surprise releases aren’t always a possibility in gaming, but when they’re done right, they’re brilliant. The sudden reveal of Doom on Switch is one of those moments—and now I know I’m going to be bringing Doomguy with me wherever I go.

That’s the benefit to releasing games without a lengthy build-up to a known launch date. Too often, we fans pick apart titles the more we see them and the longer we wait. It’s in our nature to over-analyze trailers and previews, and I know I myself tend to focus on negatives before positives. With surprise launches, developers get to sidestep that mess and just deliver the goods. If a game is good, like Apex Legends is good, it’s suddenly all anyone can talk about.

With surprise launches, developers get to sidestep that mess and just deliver the goods.

I’m not saying surprise releases always make sense. Games like Gears 5, for instance, benefit a lot from letting people know what’s coming. That’s especially true for titles in long-running franchises that have big changes in store. It’s best to ease people into them, like Fire Emblem: Three Houses, rather than springing it on us.

That being said, in an industry where it feels like a lot of information leaks and ruins surprises, mystery launches like Doom‘s are divine. If any game can suddenly pop up out of nowhere, it also makes speculation that much more fun.

Doomguy for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, anyone? Maybe there’s another surprise in store for us soon…