The legendary designers behind the Doom franchise, John Romero and Sandy Petersen, recently clashed on Twitter over the topic of whether Doom 2 was a “cash grab.” The conversation was of course taken up elsewhere on social media, commentators falling into either one of the two diametrically opposed camps.
Romero is among the most well known people in the games industry. Along with co-founder John Carmack, he started up id Software from scratch, going on to produce numerous groundbreaking games including Wolfenstein 3D, Dangerous Dave, Hexen, Doom, and Quake. Romero popularized the first person shooter and is currently credited with having coined the term "deathmatch.” Petersen worked at the famous tabletop game publisher Chaosium, contributing to the development of RuneQuest before going on to create one of the most influential role-playing games of all time, Call of Cthulhu. He later joined id Software to work on the Doom and Quake.
“Doom 2 was a quickie cash grab to use some assets from the first game and give the designers something to do while Quake was being built,” Petersen posted on Twitter back in September. “So, when I ‘complain’ about Doom 2, please know that I am fully aware that Quake was well worth it.”
The response took several weeks to materialize, but Romero eventually entered the fray, defending this controversial entry in the Doom series. The designer noted that “Doom 2 followed a long pattern of id Software development. It was a retail sequel to our previous game, just like Spear of Destiny was a retail release for Wolfenstein 3D. Same with our Keen games. It wasn't a cash grab or something to keep us busy.”
Fans of the franchise have been debating the positions held by Romero and Petersen. While some have stuck to social media, many have taken to platforms like Resetera to voice their opinions. The majority of these have been somewhat strong, but a few people have managed to maintain a middle ground. “Please tell every other studio that every ‘quickie cash grab’ needs to be an all time classic,” the user known as Eddman for example said. “I’ll take no less than that.”
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