Doom Eternal is set to launch on November 22 and includes a collector’s edition. Bethesda has stated that one of the features will be a wearable “Doom Slayer” helmet. As exciting as this sounds, past experience with Bethesda’s special editions has no doubt made players cautious. Just look at what happened with Fallout 76 and the now infamous Power Armor Edition “canvas” bags.
The Fallout Canvas Duffel Bags
It all started back in late November of last year. Fallout 76 was already coming under heavy criticism for its bugs and poor quality gameplay when players started to provide feedback on the $200 Power Armor edition of the game.
This collector’s edition featured what was described at the time as a “canvas west tek duffel bag” and the accompanying images showed what looked like a sturdy well-made bag. However, when gamers finally got their bags, they quickly discovered that they were in fact made of cheap nylon and looked nothing like the image on the website.
Bethesda’s response was to offer a measly 500 Atoms of in-game currency, worth around $5, to affected players. The website was then updated to state that the bags were in fact nylon and that the “bag is not a correct representation of the product.”
A customer service rep asked for a reason for the change stated that "the bag shown in the media was a prototype and was too expensive to make." Understandably, customers weren’t buying this lame excuse. After all, why would you use an image of a product that you know you cannot produce?
The image itself is misleading enough, but the wording also specifically stated that gamers would receive canvas bags, so naturally, the non-canvas bags that fans received was not what they expected.
The Influencer Controversy
Bethesda’s position was worsened when it came out that it had in fact produced canvas bags, but that they didn’t go into the collector’s editions. Instead, these durable canvas rucksacks were given out to influencers who were presented with the free Fallout 76 goodies at a Bethesda event.
While this is a common marketing practice, handing out canvas bags for free while telling customers that they were too expensive to produce wasn’t cutting it with disappointed Fallout players.
Just over a week later, amid talk of misrepresentation and legal action, Bethesda finally agreed to honor the original deal. It offered affected players the chance to contact the company in order to receive a replacement canvas bag.
The Private Information Leak
You’d think that this is where the story ended, but there was another twist. Players who wanted to get their hands on an actual canvas bag had to venture into the support section of Bethesda’s website and fill out a form requesting the replacement. Upon doing this, they were shocked to discover that they began receiving the private information of other people who had also filled out the form.
Bethesda was quick to apologize and resolve the issue, but it left customers uneasy. The error had made usernames, full names, contact information, and proof of purchase information publicly visible to other users, albeit for a limited time.
No more has been said publicly about the leak, although Bethesda promised to contact affected customers. As for the bag saga, it’s now hopefully coming to an end, with Bethesda Support announcing that the canvas bags are finally expected to ship starting next week.
The biggest question to ask now is whether or not customers will trust Bethesda to deliver on another collector’s edition.
What Does This Mean For DOOM Eternal?
The DOOM Eternal collector’s edition includes a deluxe edition copy of DOOM Eternal in an exclusive Steelbook case. It includes digital rewards that comprise a year one pass, demonic slayer skin, and classic weapons sound pack.
The physical rewards include a full-sized wearable DOOM Slayer Helmet replica. There is also a playable cassette tape and downloadable codes for digital copies of Mick Gordon’s DOOM (2016) and DOOM Eternal original soundtracks. The package also contains a DOOM lore book and “Gift of Argent Power” Lithograph.
So far, the images look promising, but the same could be said for the ill-fated Power Armor Edition of Fallout 76. Since players didn’t appear to complain about the wearable T-51B Power Armor Helmet, which came with the ill-fated bag, there’s hope for DOOM Eternal. After all, Bethesda has wisely stayed away from canvas.
Here’s hoping that Bethesda has learned from previous experience and can deliver a DOOM Eternal collector’s edition that is every bit as good as it looks on paper.