Tuesday, January 31, 2006

John Romero Still Exists

Read this.

If you ever needed proof that someone "up there" hates us, there it is.

If you're not caught up on John Romero, he is a cyborg from the planet Suck who basically built up a reputation as one of the co-founders of id software and then squandered that reputation on cars and womens. He was with Ion Storm Dallas (what then-Ion Storm Austin's Warren Spector referred to as "that other Ion Storm") and headed up a team whose greatest claim to fame was that one of the level designers was a hot chick. They eventually released a game called Daikatana that was hailed as the best game ever on one of the most memorable Opposite Days ever recorded. More recently, he worked for Midway, which no one really knew, and he did some nGage games that no one ever played.

And now he's working on an MMO.

Another bit of catch-up: MMOs are awesome. Everyone wants to do one, and no one will admit the truth, which is that the current art of the MMO has already been mastered. Back when EQ and Anarchy Online were the big fish, people were saying that there's not enough audience to play so many MMOs. Now EQ, Asheron's Call, Anarchy Online, EQ2, Eve Online, Star Wars Galaxies, Matrix Online, and others have found a fairly decent audience each, and World of Warcraft is out there with 5 million worldwide subscribers. No one else will announce their numbers, but I would guess that the next most popular game is posting subscriber numbers of about 300,000. Maybe more if you count random Korean MMOs. The fact is that the great majority of MMOs fail miserably before they even launch, because everyone sees how profitable EQ was and World of Warcraft is, and they want a piece of the pie, but they don't try to innovate or give the market anything new. Well, that's not true. EQ2 lets you order pizza from Pizza Hut without leaving the game. So I guess that's something.

John Romero wants to do an MMO. Clearly he can handle it, because he once had a Ferrarri and a hot chick and long greasy hair that made him look like the drummer in a Ramones tribute band. And he worked on Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows, which has managed a 66% from the criminally droolish gaming press.

Oh, and he has a new wife who was like, totally in high school when they met. Check out her blog, LOLZ. That has nothing to do with his MMO or anything, I just thought it was interesting.

Anyway, I hope you're all excited about Romero's new MMO. If it's as good as his other recent work, well... Hmm. I can't even think of an appropriate joke, so I'll end with an old-school GamePro preview ending:

"If Romero's new MMO is as good as his other work, then the MMO world will 'Quake' and 'Die(katana)' when it runs the 'Gauntlet' this 'Doom'... er, summer. Or whenever."

Ow. I think I broke my soul.