For those unfortunate enough to have missed this little snippet of history, GameTap is making Daikatana available free until the end of December, and has also posted a brief retrospective of the game’s unfortunate history.

Released in 2000 after over three years of development despite lead designer John Romero’s initial prediction of needing less than one year, the game flopped badly, both critically and commercially. While the game is generally regarded as not being quite so bad as its reputation would suggest, the dramatic gap between the game’s hype and the reality of the released product, coupled with the conspicuous excesses at Ion Storm during its development, made Daikatana infamous among gamers and led to the downfall of both the Ion Storm development studios as well as John Romero’s previously untouchable cachet.

Of interest even to gamers who don’t care to try Daikatana for themselves is a brief overview of the game’s history, describing the luxurious Ion Storm offices in Dallas and the reaction of the press to the game that was finally delivered. A link to a much lengthier 1999 article from the Dallas Observer is also included, which provides a more detailed and in-depth (and uglier) look at the behind-the-scenes shenanigans at Ion Storm during the Daikatana period.

To find out more about Daikatana and the good times at Ion Storm, or to try it out for yourself, head on over to GameTap.

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