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.