Loot Drop is John Romero's New Game Studio

There's an interesting article over on VentureBeat that talks about John Romero's new game studio, Loot Drop. In fact, it seems that the famed game designer has now come full circle since his days of masterminding the Doom and Quake series by founding another small studio with long-term fellow colleague Tom Hall.

After leaving SoftDisk and co-founding a small development team called id Software with Tom Hall back in 1991, Romero moved on to form another development studio, Ion Storm, with Tom Hall in 1996, but the company closed its doors in 2005. Now after working for numerous other studios and publishers over the years including Midway Games, Monkeystone Games and Slipgate Ironworks, Romero now finds himself designing games at his new studio, Loot Drop, in San Mateo, California.

But unlike the other studios founded with Hall, Loop Drop will focus on social gaming. Romero got his initial taste of social game development by designing the widely-popular Ravenwood Fair on Facebook for LOLApps, raking in more than 11 million monthly active users since its launch back in October 2010.

Wizardry designer Brenda Brathwaite served as creative director at LOLApps and worked on Ravenwood Fair with Romero. Now she too is a part of the new startup company, serving as chief operating officer. The studio has also enlisted industry veteran and founder of Wizardry and Jagged Alliance publisher Sir-Tech Software, Rob Strotek. He will serve as chief executive officer while Hall will serve as the studio's head and game designer.

"I’ve had a chance to work with John several times and I jumped at the chance to do it again. John’s genius is seeing the next thing," Hall told VentureBeat, seemingly denying one of the biggest bombs in gaming history, John Romero's Daikatana. "It’s an honor to work with Brenda too."

Funding will be piped in from social game publisher RockYou with plans to launch four titles during 2011. Romero said that he's focused on game design rather than "monetizing players" like various other social gaming developers. "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."

Naturally, Romero can't complete an interview without saying something that sounds half-cocky. "We have satisfied hardcore gamers for decades," he said. "Now it’s time for the rest of the world. Our opportunity is to teach the rest of the world how to play games."

Hall admitted that his wife loves to play Romero's Ravenwood Fair, but won't admit that she's a gamer. "She just likes chopping down trees," he said.

To read the full article, head here.

  • applegetsmelaid
    That Shogun 2 game looks pretty neat after seeing the ad 4 million times.
  • qu3becker
    But unlike the other studios founded with Hall, Loop Drop will focus on social gaming.

    Loop Drop, nice but I guess that is not the correct name. Please proof-read before posting a news.

    Most social network game are so time consuming and boring. At least if they were entertaining...
  • reprotected
    So when is Daikatana 2 coming out?
  • FloKid
    Another free web browser MMO? : )
  • davidgrenier
    I just hate to have to log on to TomsHardware to post a comment... but I just hate Romero so much I had to do it...

    The guy's been surfing on his past glory for over a decade now, I also noticed how he recently did a "Doom post-mortem" to get some visibility again. I think it's quite time he gets cut of fundings. Last I know the un-anounced MMO he had started with Slipgate Ironworks who later turned out to be acquired by Gazillion Entertainment got canned as well.

    Has anyone but himself made any money off from the projects he's worked on since 1993?

    I mean, how many startup like that which didn't deliver has he started since he left Id? I'm pretty sure someone could find Carmack's old statement online about Romero, how he was lazy and hardly came into work. Even when he was at Id he was surfing on his colleagues backs.