Doom and Doom II were released on Android about a year ago to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the franchise that helped solidify and build the first person shooter genre. I have deep-seated memories of playing Doom II on our family’s PC growing up and those memories form much of my love for this style of game. It was also the first experience I had playing against another person online via our dial-up internet connection and I completely remember being blown away that the character I was fighting against was being controlled by a friend in a house across town.
All that aside, the re-release of these iconic games on Android happened without too much fuss about a year ago and I really never gave it much of a thought. I’m not even sure I remember them launching at all, honestly. However, as of today, there are some fresh, new perks for Chromebooks and both Doom and Doom II are available for free for Chromebook users. While this is only a $10 monetary gain, the fact that these games are being targeted towards Chromebooks and work perfectly well on them is really the big news, here.
For years now, we’ve been talking about what it would look like for app developers to take the time to make the Chromebook experience good with their applications. We just saw some of the first fruits of this with Krita and their full-blown desktop-class Android application that is clearly aimed at Chromebook users. With that app, we were excited to see a developer choose to port a full version of an application over to Android with the express intent being tablet and Chromebook use. While we’d love to see much more of this, I think we’re in the early stages of that process still.
Today, when news broke of new perks available for Chromebooks and Doom/Doom II were part of the offerings, my first thought was, “Yeah, but how will it actually run on my Chromebook?” After all, just because a game exists in the Play Store and is technically able to be installed on my Chromebook, that clearly doesn’t mean it is going to work the way I want it to. Yeah, I’m looking at you PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty, Fortnite, etc.
However, in fairness, those games I just mentioned aren’t included in the Chromebook perks and don’t put themselves out there as being positioned well for Chrome OS. With Doom and Doom II, their arrival on the Chromebook Perks page made me very hopeful that they would play well on my Chromebook. And you know what? They are great!! Framerates are buttery smooth, keyboard controls work as expected, and I can play with the mouse and have the exact same experience I remember from my middle school days on that old PC. It is honestly pretty fantastic!
And this is so refreshing to see. It is awesome to witness an Android game that has clearly been considered for play on a Chromebook. After 4 years of talking about Android apps on Chromebooks, it feels like we might finally be in the place where there’s enough reason for developers to begin taking Chrome OS into account when deciding on input methods and screen sizes for their software. Android is getting to the point that it is quite stable and usable on Chrome OS for apps that are designed to take advantage of it, but developers need to decide to do so.
With the massive growth we’ve seen with Chrome OS in the past year and the explosion of new Chromebook users since the pandemic, I think it may end up being that we look back at mid-2020 as the time when Android apps on Chromebooks finally started to find their place. If we continue to see this as a trend, I think there are tons of users now sitting and waiting to get productive on, be entertained by, and get their game on with Android apps on their Chromebook. As developers see this desire and this unmet need that exists, I can only imagine we’ll keep seeing more and more of this happen as the months wear on. It is time for it, and we’re here for it. Let’s go!