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Romero, John

Entry updated 26 October 2021. Tagged: Author, Game.

(1967-    ) US Game designer whose first published work was Scout Search (1984 Capitol Ideas Software, AppleII), a simple two-dimensional game in which the player must protect cub scouts from a grizzly bear. His fame, however, rests on the early games developed by id Software, the company he founded in 1991 with the artist Adrian Carmack, the game designer Tom Hall and the highly talented computer programmer John Carmack (who was inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 2001). These games included Wolfenstein 3D (1992), Doom (1993) and Quake (1996), which together defined the initial form of the First Person Shooter, and to all of which Romero made major contributions. After a number of disagreements with John Carmack, Romero left to cofound the development company Ion Storm (IS), where he designed a new First Person Shooter, the Time Travel game John Romero's Daikatana (2000 IS, N64, Win). This, however, proved to be a disastrous commercial failure; it seems likely that, despite their conflicts, Romero needed Carmack's skills and discipline to succeed on this scale. Romero has subsequently concentrated on creating less expensive, but consistently well crafted, Videogames. Even if he never designs another famous game, however, Romero will continue to epitomize an anarchic, confrontational strand in game development which is perhaps as close as Videogames have ever come to the musical ethos of punk – the spirit of Doom. [NT]

Alfonso John Romero

born Colorado Springs, Colorado: 28 October 1967


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