Game designer John Romero and John Romero's hair ruled the roost during the 1990s. With titles like Doom and Quake, he not only helped popularize the first-person shooter, he defined it. Then the unthinkable happened. He made Daikatana.
The game, released in 2000, was a tremendous flop. An ad for Daikatana proclaimed, "John Romero's about to make you his bitch. Suck it down." The game was delayed several times, and the final product was a bust. The rot had set in, and Romero, the FPS whiz kid, went off to develop mobile games.
"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 FPSs, and that was something I was known for," Romero tells Gamesauce magazine.
"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. Up until that ad, I felt I had a great relationship with the gamer and the game development community and that ad changed everything... I regret it and I apologize for it."
"I didn't [stop it] and I'm sorry for that," says Romero. 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."