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2009/10/28

It’s Your Birthday: John Romero

Small romero head
On this day, back in 1967, Alfonso John Romero was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He turns 42 today.

John Romero is a designer, programmer, and developer in the video game industry, and is one of the original co-founders of id Software. He’s worked on a number of their games like Commander Keen, Wolfenstein 3D, Spear of Destiny, Doom, Doom II and Quake. He also worked as Executive Producer and Game Designer on Heretic and HeXen.


Other than id Software, he worked at or co-founded companies like inCider, Capital Ideas Software, Origin Systems, Inside Out Software, Ideas From The Deep, Softdisk, Ion Storm, Monkeystone Games, Midway Games, Gazillion Entertainment and Slipgate Ironworks. Slipgate Ironworks recently experienced some layoffs. Slipgate Ironworks is owned by Gazillion Entertainment, of which John is the Executive Vice-President and Creative Director. He’s also the Chairman of the CPL Advisory Board.


Interesting facts about John Romero:


  • He’s lived in Colorado, Arizona, California, and England.
  • John started programming games when he was 11 or so.
  • He is credited with coining the term "deathmatch", and is thought of as the “father of deathmatch competitions”.
  • John likes to make sound effects and taunt people while he plays games. There’s a song in Doom II, called “Waiting for Romero to Play”, because he was so electrifying and entertaining.
  • The pose of the space marine on the cover of the Doom box was taken from a photo of John Romero.
  • Daikatana is labeled as one of the worst games of all time.
  • John Romero was once killed but came back to life.
  • John is a big fan of wikis.
  • He refers to himself as “The Romero”.
  • John almost worked at Blue Sky Productions, eventually renamed Looking Glass Technologies. Looking Glass Technologies made System Shock, which was technologically superior to Doom and Doom II, but was overlooked despite this.
  • He once put his Ferrari up for auction on eBay. He seems to love them as much as John Carmack does.
  • He’s been married about three times, including his current wife, and has three children. 
  • His son works at Slipgate Ironworks.
  • He’s named after his father, Alfonso. His mother is Virginia, and he has a brother named Ralph.
  • John is often said to have the best hair in the industry.
  • John was the final boss, The Icon of Sin, in Doom II. He was presented as a head on a stick.
  • John likes listening to heavy metal music. This is why most of the music in Doom is inspired by metal bands, although the MIDI tracks were composed by Bobby Prince.
  • John likes being in the spotlight. John Carmack said so.
  • There’s a 95 % chance that John Romero will read this.
Quotes by John Romero

"I completely love playing and designing games and always will. I am so into games that I listen to game music all day. That may sound strange, but you can guarantee I'm a hardcore gamer and would never let you down by designing a crappy title." – Daikatana

"If you walk into CompUSA or Babbage's and see the vast array of game titles on the shelf, chances are that 95% of those titles are not worth playing." – Daikatana

"Daikatana will be the greatest game of all time"
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