|Industry||Video game industry|
|Founded||November 15, 1996 in Dallas, Texas, U.S.|
|Defunct||February 9, 2005|
|Parent||Eidos Interactive (1999–2005)|
Ion Storm, L.P. was an American video game developer founded by video game industry veterans John Romero and Tom Hall, both formerly of id Software. Despite an impressive pedigree and high expectations, the company only produced one commercial and critical success, 2000's Deus Ex .
A video game developer is a software developer that specializes in video game development – the process and related disciplines of creating video games. A game developer can range from one person who undertakes all tasks to a large business with employee responsibilities split between individual disciplines, such as programming, design, art, testing, etc. Most game development companies have video game publisher financial and usually marketing support. Self-funded developers are known as independent or indie developers and usually make indie games.
The video game industry is the economic sector involved in the development, marketing, and monetization of video games. It encompasses dozens of job disciplines and its component parts employ thousands of people worldwide.
Alfonso John Romero is an American director, designer, programmer, and developer in the video game industry. He is best known as a co-founder of id Software and designer for many of their games, including Wolfenstein 3D, Dangerous Dave, Hexen, Doom, Doom II and Quake. His game designs and development tools, along with new programming techniques created and implemented by id Software's lead programmer John D. Carmack, led to a mass popularization of the first-person shooter, or FPS, in the 1990s. He is credited with coining the FPS multiplayer term "deathmatch".
The company was founded in Dallas, Texas in November 1996; a branch in Austin, Texas was opened in 1997. In April 1999, Eidos Interactive acquired 51% of the studio in exchange for advances to the developers. The Dallas studio would close in July 2001, leaving the Austin office as the new headquarters; after financial struggles at Eidos Interactive, the Austin studio followed with its own closure in February 2005.
Austin is the capital of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County, with portions extending into Hays and Williamson counties. It is the 11th-most populous city in the United States and the 4th-most populous city in Texas. It is also the fastest growing large city in the United States, the second most populous state capital after Phoenix, Arizona, and the southernmost state capital in the contiguous United States. As of the U.S. Census Bureau's July 1, 2018 estimate, Austin had a population of 964,254 up from 790,491 at the 2010 census. The city is the cultural and economic center of the Austin–Round Rock metropolitan statistical area, which had an estimated population of 2,168,316 as of July 1, 2018. Located in Central Texas within the greater Texas Hill Country, it is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and waterways, including Lady Bird Lake and Lake Travis on the Colorado River, Barton Springs, McKinney Falls, and Lake Walter E. Long.
Ion Storm was incorporated by John Romero and Tom Hall on December 3, 1996, with its headquarters in Dallas, Texas. Hall came up with the name, the "Storm" part coming from Todd Porter's first project for the company.The company had signed a licensing deal with Eidos Interactive for six games, and the founders planned to scoop up titles from other companies that were close to completion, finish them, and push them out quickly to bring in initial revenue.
Tom A. Hall is a game designer best known for his work with id Software on titles such as Doom and Commander Keen. He attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he earned a B.S. in Computer Science.
Dallas is a city in the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Dallas County, with portions extending into Collin, Denton, Kaufman and Rockwall counties. With an estimated 2018 population of 1,345,047, it is the ninth most-populous city in the U.S. and third in Texas after Houston and San Antonio. Located in North Texas, the city of Dallas is the main core of the largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States and the largest inland metropolitan area in the U.S. that lacks any navigable link to the sea. It is the most populous city in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country at 7.5 million people as of 2018. The city's combined statistical area is the seventh-largest in the U.S. as of 2017, with 7,846,293 residents.
Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, and has a coastline with the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast.
In a fashion similar to other dot com busts, the company spent lavishly on office decor and facilities for employees. 22,000-square-foot (2,000 m2) of space in a penthouse suite on the 54th floor, the top floor, of the Chase Tower in Downtown Dallas. Ion Storm spent $2 million on the facility. Lisa Chadderdon of Fast Company said that the penthouse location was "unusual". For the first ten years after the construction of the JPMorgan Chase Tower, the penthouse location had been unleased.The corporate headquarters of Ion Storm were located in Suite 5400,
Chase Tower is a 225 m (738 ft), 55-story postmodern skyscraper at 2200 Ross Avenue in the City Center District of downtown Dallas, Texas. Although it is the fourth tallest skyscraper in the city, if one were to exclude antennas and spires, it would be the third. It is also the 12th tallest building in Texas. The building was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and was completed in 1987. The building also houses the Dallas Petroleum Club, a business and social club located on the 39th and 40th floors.
Downtown Dallas is the Central Business District (CBD) of Dallas, Texas USA, located in the geographic center of the city. The area termed "Downtown" has traditionally been defined as bounded by the downtown freeway loop: bounded on the east by I-345 (although known and signed as the northern terminus of I-45 and the southern terminus of US 75, on the west by I-35E, on the south by I-30, and on the north by Spur 366. The square miles, population and density figures in the adjacent table represent the data for this traditional definition.
Russ Berger Design Group, a firm most known for its work in designing recording studios, was responsible for interior design of the headquarters. This included a ten-foot-wide company logo set into the terrazzo floor of the lobby and matching green elevator doors.The headquarters included a "crash room", a dormitory facility with two beds, three couches, a VCR, a wide-screen television, and two telephone booths. It also housed a gaming room with a ping-pong table and four arcade machines, a changing area, and a shower room. The headquarters included these facilities because many employees in the video game industry work long hours at a time. The sun shone through the office's glass rooftop directly into the monitors of the employees, forcing them to cover their cubicles with black fabric.
Terrazzo is a composite material, poured in place or precast, which is used for floor and wall treatments. It consists of chips of marble, quartz, granite, glass, or other suitable material, poured with a cementitious binder, polymeric, or a combination of both. Metal strips often divide sections, or changes in color or material in a pattern. Additional chips may be sprinkled atop the mix before it sets. After it is cured it is ground and polished smooth or otherwise finished to produce a uniformly textured surface.
An elevator or lift is a type of vertical transportation device that moves people or goods between floors of a building, vessel, or other structure. Elevators are typically powered by electric motors that drive traction cables and counterweight systems like a hoist, although some pump hydraulic fluid to raise a cylindrical piston like a jack.
The company's first attempt was Todd Porter's Dominion: Storm Over Gift 3 . Dominion was already partially completed by Todd Porter's previous employer, 7th Level, and was expected to take $50,000 and three months to complete. Instead, development continued for over a year costing hundreds of thousands. When it was finally released it received poor ratings and equally poor sales. Marketing missteps included releasing the real-time strategy game on the same day Blizzard Entertainment put out its highly anticipated demo of StarCraft , which would become a defining game of the RTS genre.
Dominion: Storm Over Gift 3 is a military science fiction real-time strategy video game developed by Ion Storm and published by Eidos Interactive and released for Microsoft Windows on June 11, 1998. The game was originally developed as a spin-off of the mech simulation game G-Nome by 7th Level. Ion Storm acquired both Dominion and its lead designer, Todd Porter, from 7th Level for completion.
7th Level was a video game development company based in Dallas, Texas and founded in 1993. The company was most famous for developing the three Monty Python games, G-Nome (1997) — a MechWarrior-style game, for publishing Helicops (1997) — an anime-inspired arcade-style aerial combat game, and for Tracer — a game of hacking distributed computer systems for cash using a virtual avatar in the design of Neuromancer, Shadowrun, or Snowcrash styled virtual worlds.
Real-time strategy (RTS) is a sub-genre of strategy video games in which the game does not progress incrementally in turns. This is distinguished from turn-based strategy (TBS), in which all players take turns when playing.
John Romero's Daikatana was meant to be finished within seven months of the founding of Ion Storm and was to use the Quake engine. From very early on in the game's development, Daikatana was advertised as the brainchild of John Romero, a man famous for his work at id Software in the development of Wolfenstein 3D , Doom and Quake . Time magazine gave Romero and Daikatana glowing coverage, saying "Everything that game designer John Romero touches turns to gore and gold."During that time, in April 1999, publisher Eidos Interactive acquired a 51% stake in the company, in exchange for advances to the developers. An early advertisement for Daikatana, created by marketer Mike Wilson and approved by Romero, was a red poster with large black lettering proclaiming "John Romero's about to make you his bitch", a reference to Romero's infamous trash talk during gaming. Nothing else was featured on this poster but a small tag-line reading "Suck It Down", an Ion Storm logo and an Eidos logo. However, already behind schedule, the decision was made to port the entire game to the Quake II engine, six months into development. Daikatana, was released three years late in Spring 2000, after its promised launch date of Christmas 1997. The game was released to middling critical reviews, and an aggressive advertising campaign in 1997 touting Romero's name as the reason to buy the game backfired as fans grew angry over delays.
Like Daikatana, Tom Hall's Anachronox was moved over to the Quake II engine. These changes brought costly delays to an already beleaguered product line. Although Anachronox received critical acclaim for its vast storyline and characters,it, too, was commercially unsuccessful on its release in June 2001.
In late 1997, Warren Spector was asked to found the Austin branch of Ion Storm. By keeping well clear of the troubles at the Dallas office, Ion Storm (Austin) was more successful. It developed the highly successful and critically acclaimed Deus Ex . With the demise of Looking Glass Studios, Eidos Interactive secured the rights to the Thief franchise and together with Spector tried to relocate as many of the Looking Glass team to Austin as was possible.
Romero and Hall left the company after producing Anachronox in July 2001. On July 17, 2001, four and a half years after the company's creation, Eidos Interactive closed the Dallas offices.The Austin office remained open to produce Deus Ex: Invisible War and Thief: Deadly Shadows until Spector's departure to "pursue personal interests outside the company" in 2004. A number of other senior staff also left at about the same time. After finishing their 6 game contract, on February 9, 2005, Eidos announced that the Austin office would also close, meaning the end of Ion Storm as a company.
|1998||Dominion: Storm Over Gift 3||No||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|2003||Deus Ex: Invisible War||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|2004||Thief: Deadly Shadows||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
The rise and fall of the company is documented in great detail in the book Masters of Doom .Doom was just one of a series of blockbuster games Romero had designed, and Ion Storm was founded in no small part on his celebrity status within the industry. This elevation of the game creators over the products themselves caused problems early on, evidenced in a 1997 advertisement which hyped the subsequently delayed Daikatana by boasting "John Romero's About To Make You His Bitch....Suck it down".
In 2010, Romero would later apologize for the infamous advertisement. Romero stated in an interview that "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."
The critical and commercial failure of Daikatana was a major contributing factor in the closure of Ion Storm's Dallas office. ScrewAttack named this game the #7 bust on their 2009 "Top 10 Biggest Busts", which listed the biggest failures in gaming, due to its controversial advertising and the hype that Romero built on this game, which in the end turned out to be a failure.GameTrailers ranked this game the #2 biggest gaming disappointment of the decade (the 2000s), citing the game's terrible AI for friend and foe alike, pushed-back release dates, controversial magazine ad, and gossip-worthy internal drama (among other things) as "the embodiment of game's industry hubris."
Since its release, Deus Ex has appeared in a number of "Greatest Games of All Time" lists and Hall of Fame features. It was included in IGN's "100 Greatest Games of All Time" (#40, #21 and #34 in 2003, 2005 and 2007, respectively), "Top 25 Modern PC Games" (4th place in 2010) and "Top 25 PC Games of All Time" (#20 and #21 in 2007 and 2009 respectively) lists. 's "101 Best PC Games Ever" feature. It was also included in Yahoo! UK Video Games' "100 Greatest Computer Games of All Time" (28th place) list, and in Edge 's "The 100 Best Videogames"[ sic ] (29th place in 2007) and "100 Best Games to Play Today" (57th place in 2009) lists. Deus Ex was named the second-best game of the 2000s by Gamasutra. In 2012, Time named it one of the 100 greatest video games of all time, and G4tv ranked it as the 53rd best game of all time for its "complex and well-crafted story that was really the start of players making choices that genuinely affect the outcome." 1UP.com listed it as one of the most important games of all time, calling its influence "too massive to properly gauge."GameSpy featured the game in its "Top 50 Games of All Time" (18th place in 2001) and "25 Most Memorable Games of the Past 5 Years" (15th place in 2004) lists, and in the site's "Hall of Fame". PC Gamer placed Deus Ex on its "Top 100 PC Games of All Time" (#2, #2, #1 by staff and #4 by readers in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2010 respectively) and "50 Best Games of All Time" (#10 and #27 in 2001 and 2005) lists, and it was awarded 1st place in PC Zone
Deus Ex is a 2000 action role-playing video game developed by Ion Storm and published by Eidos Interactive. Set in a cyberpunk-themed dystopian world in the year 2052, the story follows JC Denton, an agent of the fictional agency United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition (UNATCO), who is given superhuman abilities by nanotechnology, as he sets out to combat hostile forces in a world ravaged by inequality and a deadly plague. His missions entangle him in a conspiracy that brings him into conflict with the Triads, Majestic 12, and the Illuminati.
John Romero's Daikatana is a first-person shooter video game developed by Ion Storm for Microsoft Windows and Nintendo 64, and released in 2000. A PlayStation version had been planned but was cancelled during development. The game received negative reviews from critics and is known as one of the major commercial failures of the video game industry.
Deus Ex: Invisible War is an action role-playing video game developed by Ion Storm and published by Eidos Interactive for Microsoft Windows personal computers (PC) and the Xbox home console. The game released in 2003 in North America and 2004 in other regions. It is the second game in the Deus Ex series, and a direct sequel to the original game. The gameplay—combining first-person shooter, stealth and role-playing elements—features exploration and combat in environments connected to multiple city-based hubs, in addition to quests that can be completed in a variety of ways and flexible character customization. Conversations between characters feature a variety of responses, with options in conversations at crucial story points affecting how some events play out.
Anachronox is a third-person role-playing video game produced by Tom Hall and the Dallas Ion Storm games studio. It was released worldwide in June 2001 for Microsoft Windows. The game is centered on Sylvester "Sly Boots" Bucelli, a down-and-out private investigator who looks for work in the slums of Anachronox, a once-abandoned planet near the galaxy's jumpgate hub. He travels to other planets, amasses an unlikely group of friends, and unravels a mystery that threatens the fate of the universe. The game's science fiction story was influenced by cyberpunk, film noir, and unconventional humor. The story features a theme of working through the troubles of one's past, and ends with a major cliffhanger.
Warren Evan Spector is an American role-playing and video game designer, director, writer, producer and production designer. He is known for creating immersive sim games, which give players a wide variety of choices in how to progress. Consequences of those choices are then shown in the simulated game world in subsequent levels or missions. He is best known for the critically acclaimed video game Deus Ex that embodies the choice and consequence philosophy while combining elements of the first-person shooter, role-playing, and adventure game genres. In addition to Deus Ex, Spector is known for his work while employed by Looking Glass Studios, where he was involved in the creation of several acclaimed titles including Ultima Underworld, Ultima Underworld II, System Shock, and Thief: The Dark Project. He is employed by OtherSide Entertainment, where he is part of the development team for the upcoming game System Shock 3.
Monkeystone Games was a video game developer and publisher founded by John Romero, Tom Hall, Stevie Case, and Brian Moon. After its inception in July 2001, Monkeystone published several titles on multiple platforms.
JC Denton is the player character and protagonist of the first-person role-playing video game Deus Ex and a supporting character in its sequel, Deus Ex: Invisible War. He is voiced by Jay Anthony Franke in both games.
Doug Church, is an American video game designer and producer. He attended MIT in the late 1980s, but left and went to work with Looking Glass Studios, when they were making primarily MS-DOS-based immersive sim games, including Ultima Underworld, Ultima Underworld II, System Shock and Thief. His colleague Warren Spector claims, in fact, that Church was the one who originally coined the term "immersive simulation".
Square Enix Limited, doing business as Square Enix Europe, is a British video game publisher, acting as the European subsidiary of Square Enix. The company was founded as Domark in 1984, named after the founders Mark Strachan and Dominic Wheatley. In 1995, the company was acquired by Eidos and was merged with two other studios and renamed Eidos Interactive the following year. Eidos was in turn acquired by SCi in 2005, and Eidos Interactive was sold to Square Enix in 2009. On 9 November 2009, Square Enix completed the merger of its existing European branch with Eidos Interactive, renaming the resulting company Square Enix Europe.
Thief II: The Metal Age is a 2000 stealth video game developed by Looking Glass Studios and published by Eidos Interactive. Like its predecessor Thief: The Dark Project, the game follows Garrett, a master thief who works in and around a steampunk metropolis called the City. The player assumes the role of Garrett as he unravels a conspiracy related to a new religious sect. Garrett takes on missions such as burglaries and frameups, while trying to avoid detection by guards and automated security.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is an action role-playing video game developed by Eidos Montréal and published worldwide by Square Enix in August 2011 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360: a version for OS X released the following year. It is the third game in the Deus Ex series, and a prequel to the original Deus Ex. The gameplay—combining first-person shooter, stealth and role-playing elements—features exploration and combat in environments connected to multiple city-based hubs, in addition to quests that grant experience and allow customization of the main character's abilities with items called Praxis Kits. Conversations between characters feature a variety of responses, with options in conversations and at crucial story points affecting how some events play out.
Deus Ex is a series of role-playing video games. The first two games in the series were developed by Ion Storm, and subsequent entries were developed by Eidos Montréal, following Ion Storm's closure. The series, set during the 21st century, focuses on the conflict between secretive factions who wish to control the world by proxy, and the effects of transhumanistic attitudes and technologies in a dystopian future setting.
Jonas Eneroth is a video game producer, game designer and entrepreneur.
An approximately 20-person team at Ion Storm developed Deus Ex, a cyberpunk-themed action-role playing video game, over the course of 34 months, culminating in a June 2000 release. Team director and producer Warren Spector began to plan the game in 1993 after releasing Ultima Underworld II with Origin Systems and attempted the game both there and at Looking Glass Technologies before going into production with Ion Storm. Official preproduction began around August 1997, lasted for six months, and was followed by 28 months of production. Spector saw their work as expanding on the precedent set by Origin, Looking Glass, and Valve Corporation.
Will Loconto is a musician, composer, and producer based in Austin, Texas. He is the lead vocalist/songwriter for the U.S. band T42, was a keyboardist for the band Information Society, and has composed music for various video game soundtracks including Daikatana.
#10 out of 50 Let us count the ways. Deus Ex was a shoo-in to win the 2000 PC Gamer Game of the Year award (as well as receiving similar high honors from around the industry). With its genre-blending mix of roleplaying, first-person shooting, and action/adventure elements combined with multiple pathways to successfully completing missions, Deus Ex created its own genre – the Immersive Simulation
#27 out of 50PC Gamer's Best Game of 2000 opened gamers' (and developers') eyes to "immersive entertainment"