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10 Years Later, Romero Apologizes for Daikatana

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 39 comments
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John Romero's FPS had major design issues, however the infamous ad promoting the game was the proverbial cement block handcuffed to his ankle.

In a recent interview with Gamesauce magazine, former id Software superstar (and creative mastermind behind Wolfenstein, Doom, and the original Quake) John Romero was portrayed as an unchanged man despite the many ups and downs since his departure from id. Naturally the discussion traveled into Daikatana territory, Romero's first-person shooter from 2000 that was supposed to be the greatest PC game of all, but instead turned into one of the biggest commercial failures in PC gaming history.

Of course, the advertisement didn't help matters, either.

"You know, I never wanted to make you my bitch, not you, not them, not any of the other players and, most importantly, not any of my fans," he admitted in the interview. The ad was rather simple: a red poster with the caption "John Romero's About to Make You His Bitch" centered in the middle. At the bottom was an additional, smaller caption reading "Suck It Down" along with the Ion Storm and Eidos logos. The ad wasn't meant to be offensive, but rather portray Romero's notorious trash talk during gaming. While this particular gamer/writer didn't see a problem (and willingly shelled out the bucks for the game), apparently many PC gamers just didn't receive a rosy feeling from the challenge.

"Up until that ad, I felt I had a great relationship with the gamer and the game development community and that ad changed everything. That stupid ad. I regret it and I apologize for it," he said. “You know, when the ad was first presented to me, I knew it was risky, and I didn’t want to do it. It didn’t make sense. I mean, there’s the whole culture of smack talk that goes with games and especially the FPS’s, and that was something I was known for."

He said the smack talk in the ad was out of context much like it would be for members of The Who to waltz into a music shop and smash up the guitars. With that said, he wished he could have halted the ad and has regretted it ever since. "While the game could have been better on a number of levels, that ad and the hype that preceded and followed it was clearly a marketing failure and that was followed by my failure to stop it. Even if I had come out with s brilliant game, it wouldn't have mattered. The ad nearly insulted everyone who read it."

Romero goes on to talk about the failure of Daikatana on a design level, stating that it was a miracle it was even released, blaming the "war" taking place both inside and outside the company that caused his overall disconnection with its development. To read more, read the full article here.

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Top Comments
  • 28 Hide
    insider3 , May 18, 2010 5:44 PM
    Hate to break it to ya. It wasn't the ads that turned fans away, it was just a shitty game.
  • 19 Hide
    Darkerson , May 18, 2010 5:55 PM
    Everyone makes mistakes. At least he's admitting it.
  • 14 Hide
    darraghcoy , May 18, 2010 8:16 PM
    sliem"To win the game, kill John Romero" (if reversed)Anyone remembers?


    Indeed. John Romero was the final 'boss' in Doom II - the icon of sin :) 

    I don't think this guy need apologise. By founding Ion Storm he indirectly gave us Deus-Ex, which makes up for any amount of bad games IMHO.
Other Comments
    Display all 39 comments.
  • 13 Hide
    RipperjackAU , May 18, 2010 5:38 PM
    Looks who's sucking it down now... B!atch... Ha! Ha! Haaa!
  • 13 Hide
    Dirtman73 , May 18, 2010 5:41 PM
    I forgive him.
  • 28 Hide
    insider3 , May 18, 2010 5:44 PM
    Hate to break it to ya. It wasn't the ads that turned fans away, it was just a shitty game.
  • -1 Hide
    djtronika , May 18, 2010 5:51 PM
    its so bad its good.
  • 11 Hide
    rooket , May 18, 2010 5:54 PM
    Don't worry Romero I never saw the ad.

    Also I played the game a little bit and I think the general gaming community is a bunch of whiners. Sure it wasn't the best game of all time but it was far from the worst.
  • 6 Hide
    stratplaya , May 18, 2010 5:55 PM
    What ever happened to that guy?

    Oh right. Married a cute girl from Transylvania.

  • 19 Hide
    Darkerson , May 18, 2010 5:55 PM
    Everyone makes mistakes. At least he's admitting it.
  • 4 Hide
    hellwig , May 18, 2010 6:28 PM
    The bad reviews turned me off the game. I don't even recall the ad he talks about, I just remember PC Gamer pretty much telling me to stay away. I think the demo crashed my PC, but then a lot of things crashed my PC back then.
  • 0 Hide
    killerclick , May 18, 2010 6:29 PM
    I never played Daikatana. Once the first Rainbow Six came out, every other FPS kinda faded away for me.
  • 0 Hide
    FUtomNOreg , May 18, 2010 6:57 PM
    After all this time, did he really need to remind us?
  • 0 Hide
    bildo123 , May 18, 2010 6:58 PM
    I think I saw an ad for this on the back of another game I had, maybe Blood 2 : The Chosen or Shogo. Shogo was awesome...and Blood 2.
  • 4 Hide
    warezme , May 18, 2010 7:11 PM
    what's Daikatana?
  • 0 Hide
    megamanx00 , May 18, 2010 7:39 PM
    A little late
  • 4 Hide
    sliem , May 18, 2010 7:46 PM
    "To win the game, kill John Romero" (if reversed)

    Anyone remembers?
  • 14 Hide
    darraghcoy , May 18, 2010 8:16 PM
    sliem"To win the game, kill John Romero" (if reversed)Anyone remembers?


    Indeed. John Romero was the final 'boss' in Doom II - the icon of sin :) 

    I don't think this guy need apologise. By founding Ion Storm he indirectly gave us Deus-Ex, which makes up for any amount of bad games IMHO.
  • 0 Hide
    Pei-chen , May 18, 2010 9:20 PM
    Most marketing department is 900% over staffed. Just look at all the terrible ads on TV and mags. (Internet ads don’t count just like bloggers aren’t journalist)
  • 0 Hide
    kanaric , May 18, 2010 9:26 PM
    has he apologize for being an asshat?
  • 0 Hide
    beergoggles , May 18, 2010 9:38 PM
    @warezme - It's a video game with the most vicious killer frogs you have ever seen!
  • -2 Hide
    demonhorde665 , May 18, 2010 9:57 PM
    rooketDon't worry Romero I never saw the ad.Also I played the game a little bit and I think the general gaming community is a bunch of whiners. Sure it wasn't the best game of all time but it was far from the worst.


    i agree i ahve played much worse games that that one but for soem screw-my-mind reason , so amny peioepl stick it int eh worse game of times list i didn't really think it deserverd sucha dishonor as that.
  • -2 Hide
    DjEaZy , May 18, 2010 10:20 PM
    ... then give the idea to activision or ea... the idea waz good... so maybe there is a team change needed...
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