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Doom Turns 20

by Matt Helgeson on Dec 10, 2013 at 08:44 AM

Id Software's iconic first-person shooter was released 20 years ago today, and the genre that it helped make a phenomenon still rules the world of video games.

On December 10th, 1993, id Software unleashed a game that did something few can claim - it quite literally changed the industry. Doom was an instant phenomenon, and helped take the formula laid down by id's Wolfenstein 3D to a new level. In doing so, it addicted millions of gamers and established the "first-person shooter" as a genre in games. Today, that genre, led by franchises like Call of Duty and Battlefield, is the dominant commercial genre, in no small thanks to id's work.

There will be a lot of talk about Doom today. For more, check out id co-founder John Romero's Facebook page, where he's posted some pictures of the original id Software crew and some cool concept models and art of the game.

For the definitive account of id Software and the development of Doom, read David Kushner's excellent Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created An Empire and Transformed Pop Culture.

Id co-founders John Carmack and John Romero have also published some memories of Doom over at Kotaku.

Our Take:
One, I cannot believe it's been 20 years since Doom was released. Two, it's clear that this is among a very small handful of games (like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Wizardry, etc.) that can truly claim to have changed the course of video games forever. I doubt even Carmack and Romero could have guessed how popular the first-person shooter would become. It's a game worth remembering, and we thank them for their pioneering work.