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Alfonso John Romero (born October 28, 1967) is a famous figure in the computer gaming industry. He worked for id Software from its founding in 1991 until 1996 and was involved in the creation of several milestone games including Commander Keen, Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Doom II and Quake, as well as serving as an executive producer on Heretic and Hexen.


In 1996 Romero was fired from id Software for "not working hard enough". He later stated that he "definitely" never regretted leaving the company.[1] Romero then co-founded Ion Storm Inc. in Dallas, Texas with id co-worker Tom Hall, where he designed and produced Daikatana. The game's critical panning damaged Romero's reputation, who received popular blame for questionable development decisions worsened by his name being hyped in the game's early marketing. In particular, an infamous 1997 ad (by Ion's then-CEO Mike Wilson) with the slogan "John Romero's about to make you his bitch" upset many people. Romero left with Tom Hall immediately after the release of Hall's Anachronox game and the subsequent closing of the Dallas Ion Storm office. They then co-founded Monkeystone Games in July of 2001.

Between 1999 and 2003, Romero was involved with Stevie Case, a prominent female gaming industry figure who beat him in a Quake deathmatch. Until their breakup in early 2003, Case was the chief operating officer of Monkeystone Games. In 2002, he put his Ferrari up for auction on eBay. Heavily modified, one could plug a laptop into the parallel port in the back of the passenger's seat, and tune the engine while running.

In mid-October 2003, Romero joined Midway Games as Project Lead on Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows. While he continued to maintain his working relationship with Monkeystone, Lucas Davis took over running the office. The Monkeystone team moved to Austin, Texas to work on Midway's Area 51 title until its release. Monkeystone Games closed down in January 2005. John moved from Project Lead to Creative Director of Internal Studio during this time.

At the end of June 2005, Romero left Midway Games mere months before the completion of Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows.

On August 31, 2005 Romero confirmed that since leaving Midway he has been hard at work on a yet-to-be-announced project at his newly opened development studio, preliminarily named Slipgate Ironworks. "For the record," Romero writes, "I'm co-founder of a new game company in the Bay Area and am much better off in many ways than I was at Midway." A shroud of secrecy lies over the company and its projects.

In January 2004, he married Raluca Alexandra Plesca in her home country of Romania and hometown of Bucharest. They divorced in 2011.

In October 2012, he married fellow game designer Brenda Garno/Brathwaite at Disneyland.

In April 2016, he made a video on Youtube named The Return, showing him and Adrian Carmack in a meeting. In this video, John Romero announced a new fps title.

Quake Levels

Beta3 Levels


  • While he was designing Quake, he was listening to Alice in Chains’s 1995 album Alice in Chains a lot, and he almost finished a level named Sludge Factory.[2]
  • John Romero did the first three demos of Quake, His player color was light blue for the shirt and blue for the pants and Romero is his player name, Romero said he still plays Quake, though not very often.
  • While a big fan of Deathmatch gameplay, Romero preferred to play in tourneys as opposed to large-scale fights. He felt that larger battles were mostly for target practice at best, that there was no real representation of skill in comparison to two players facing one another.


  1. "Community Q&A With John Romero". Archived from the original on 2015-08-09. https://web.archive.org/web/20150809203700/http://quakeone.com/news/site-news/11486-community-q-john-romero.html. 
  2. Tweet by John Romero where he stated, ‘id trivia: while making Quake I listened to Alice in Chains’ 3-legged dog album a lot. I almost finished a level named Sludge Factory.