Doom is one of the most popular video games ever made. It started the craze of bloody, violent first-person shooters. But did you know that the creation of the video game turned two best friends into bitter rivals? If not, you’ll find out that story soon enoug.
USA Network has ordered a pilot based on Masters of Doom, a book by David Kushner that reveals how John Carmack and John Romero created the ’90s video game sensation Doom, as well as the Quake franchise. But as the success of the games grew, it eventually tore them apart.
Here’s the official synopsis for David Kushner’s book, Masters of Doom, published back in 2004:
Masters of Doom is the amazing true story of the Lennon and McCartney of video games: John Carmack and John Romero. Together, they ruled big business. They transformed popular culture. And they provoked a national controversy. More than anything, they lived a unique and rollicking American Dream, escaping the broken homes of their youth to co-create the most notoriously successful game franchises in history—Doom and Quake—until the games they made tore them apart.
Americans spend more money on video games than on movie tickets. Masters of Doom is the first book to chronicle this industry’s greatest story, written by one of the medium’s leading observers. David Kushner takes readers inside the rags-to-riches adventure of two rebellious entrepreneurs who came of age to shape a generation. The vivid portrait reveals why their games are so violent and why their immersion in their brilliantly designed fantasy worlds offered them solace. And it shows how they channeled their fury and imagination into products that are a formative influence on our culture, from MTV to the Internet to Columbine. This is a story of friendship and betrayal, commerce and artistry—a powerful and compassionate account of what it’s like to be young, driven, and wildly creative.
It certainly sounds like there’s enough drama to fill an entire series. Kids who grew up in the ’90s know how influential the likes of Doom turned out to be, and how controversial it was for those games to be sold, especially amidst deadly school shootings. But it’s a story that many of today’s younger gamers may not be quite as familiar with since violent video games are far more common these days.
Beyond that, the core of the story lies with John Carmack and John Romero. How did two friends who created such imaginative pieces of pop culture end up turning against each other? This could be a story akin to The Social Network.
In fact, Variety reports USA Network hopes to tell several stories from the history of video games. Masters of Doom is intended to be the first in what would be an anthology series focusing on seminal moments in the video game industry. Though it’s not specified what other stories might end up being told in the future.
Executive producing the hopeful series will be brothers James Franco and Dave Franco, by way of their Ramona Films banner. The company’s Vince Jolivette and Elizabeth Haggard will also executive produce along with Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Eric Robinson, and Jeremy Bell of The Gotham Group, which will also have D.J. Goldberg serve as a co-executive producer.
The project seems to be early in development for now, so we’ll keep you posted as more information surfaces.
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