What Happened To John Romero?

Anyone who knows anything about the birth of video games will know the name John Romero. It was him who all but spearheaded first person shooters as they exist today. Having a hand in not only Wolfenstein 3D, generally accepted as the first true first person shooter, he then went on to be one of the developers of Doom. And Doom, of course, was one of the biggest smash hit video games in early industry history.

From Doom and Doom 2 Romero was then a major developer in the team that brought the world Quake. It seemed like everything Romero touched turned to gold, making him all but an industry legend. But soon after Romero fell from grace, and all but disappeared from the video game scene. How could this have happened to one of the biggest names in the video game industry?

Daikatana – A Fall From Grace

It seems that soon after the creation of Quake, Romero had a falling out with his team ID Software. The specific of the situation are not really known as there were many highs and lows, other then that Romero broke away from ID Software and founded Ion Storm. Romero then declared that he would create his ultimate masterpiece, a video game called Daikatana. The world watched, confused, but also breathless with anticipation.

The development history of Daikatana is a long and painful one. Romero first declared that the game would be ready in just a few months. And, furthermore, that it would be the greatest game anyone had ever seen. But, bizarrely, the game development drew on for over five years, with multiple deadlines and release dates being missed. Plus, Romero took out multiple full page ads in popular gaming magazine, all of which seemed harsh, offensive, and alarmingly as if Romero were mocking the fans he aimed to sell his game too.

When Daikatana finally did release in 2000 it was a horrible flop. Seeming dated, poorly designed, and rushed despite it’s five year development, Romero fell from grace in a big way.

John Romero Today

Following the disaster of Daikatana, Romero all but faded into the shadows, obviously red faced about the painfully underperforming game he had claimed would be a masterpiece, and should have at least been as enjoyable to play as real money blackjack. His company Ion Storm released a few other games, some of which were good. But it was not long before Ion Storm closed and Romero disappeared entirely into obscurity.

Only recently did Romero announce a new project, titled Blackroom. With details still scarce, the project has not yet received much attention. Although, Romero tried and failed to raise money for the project once in 2017. With the money raising attempt a failure, Romero decided that the game needed a full gameplay demo before attempting to raise more money.

As yet the project remains shrouded in mystery, with many speculating that Romero is desperate to avoid another crushing disappointment. If the game is good or not remains to be soon, with a release date being declared for some time near the end of 2018.

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