John Romero, the legendary co-creator of Quake, Daikatana, and the almighty original Doom, has announced that he is returning to FPS development via a new IP which is being created using Unreal Engine 5.
In a posting on Twitter, Romero says that his studio, Romero Games, is entering a “new dawn”, and is in the process of hiring a variety of staffers “with Unreal Engine 5 experience” to assist in the development of an original shooter IP, which will be launched in conjunction with an unnamed “major” publisher.
— 𝕵𝖔𝖍𝖓 𝕽𝖔𝖒𝖊𝖗𝖔 (@romero) July 19, 2022
The studio’s website advertises positions open for a lead level designer, graphics programmer, animator, and senior multiplayer programmer, suggesting that Romero’s new game will have an online aspect. Romero himself is of course known for designing and co-designing the majority of the levels from the original 1993 Doom, developed by what was then the four-person team at id Software. His Doom fame may have been superseded, however, by 2000’s Daikatana, often regarded as one of gaming’s biggest flops – although it’s nowhere near as bad as you might think.
Given the current FPS landscape, the time is just right for Romero to make his return. Retro-styled shooters such as Hrot and Dusk have been extremely successful over the past few years, with the original Quake series also seeing a revival thanks to PC and console re-releases, and Doom re-entering the gaming consciousness owing to the 2016 reboot and the sequel, Doom Eternal. Everyone complains about the Call of Duty campaigns (although Battlefield might be coming back with a good one), so if Romero and team can fashion a meaty, gory, single-player experience akin to the 90s classics, they might be able to corner a niche.
This is definitely one to keep an eye on, and we’ll be bringing you all the updates on the Doom-meister’s upcoming project as and when they arrive.