Doom co-creator John Romero says his years of making games for the hardcore crowd are over, and that what he wants to do is “teach the rest of the world how to play games.”
There aren’t too many names in the videogame industry more synonymous with hardcore gaming than John Romero. This is the man who co-created Doom and Quake, revolutionizing online gaming in the process, and then made his legend even greater, although perhaps not quite in the way he would have liked, with the Ion Storm/Daikatana debacle – which, indirectly, gave us the mind-blowing Deus Ex. But in recent years he’s immersed himself in the casual market and that’s where he plans to stay.
“We have satisfied hardcore gamers for decades. Now it’s time for the rest of the world,” Romero recently told VentureBeat. “Our opportunity is to teach the rest of the world how to play games.”
Romero’s latest company is called Loot Drop, an operation that also includes fellow id alumnus and frequent Romero collaborator Tom Hall, veteran game designer Brenda Brathwaite and Sir-Tech co-founder Robert Sirotek. “I’ve had a chance to work with John several times and I jumped at the chance to do it again,” Hall said. “John’s genius is seeing the next thing.”
And while a lot of social games take a bad rap for shallow gameplay and a focus on emptying wallets, Romero’s famous “design is law” credo is apparently still alive and well at Loot Drop. “We don’t have a view of strip mining the players for cash,” Romero said. “When a player gives you money, you want them to feel good about giving you that money.”
Romero’s most recent game was Ravenwood Fair, developed for LOLApps and released last October. It was a big hit, drawing 11 million monthly average users and firing up his interest in the market; he said he wants to put out four new Loot Drop games for 2011.
UPDATE: Romero may be in the casual zone now but he made it clear on Twitter that he’s not closing the door on guns and guts. In reference to a Eurogamer headline that said he was “done” with hardcore games, he wrote, “I am not done making hardcore games, Eurogamer.”
So there you go. Can Daikatana 2 be far behind?