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Ion Storm Timeline

1996

Eye of The Storm.

1997

Warren Spector joined Ion Storm (L-R: Tom Hall, John Romero and Warren).
  • Signed publishing deal with Eidos; 10 employees already established at the Quadrangle office.
  • Romero worked on Daikatana design doc, Tom began Anachronox design doc, Porter began Doppleganger design.
  • Daikatana was shown at E3 for the first time. Plans were to publish the game for Christmas 1997. Daikatana was running in Quake engine but after seeing the Quake II engine, Romero decided to wait until id Software release the source code for Quake II.
  • Christmas 1997 deadline was cancelled- postponed until next Christmas.
  • Ion Storm moved to Chase Tower building and leased the top two floors- construction began.
  • Looking Glass Studios went defunct; Romero convinced Warren Spector to join Ion Storm.
  • Warren established Ion Storm Austin; began working on Deus Ex.
  • Porter abandoned Doppleganger and co-developed new game with 7th Level called Dominion: Storm Over Gift 3.
  • The infamous Daikatana ad was released and it angered the fans and gaming community. Mike Wilson, CEO and Chief of Marketing was fired. Wilson joined Gathering of Developers.

1998

The Daikatana 'bitch' ad.
  • Construction at Chase Tower building completed- employees moved to 54th and 55th floors.
  • Quake II was released on February and so was the source code. Ion Storm team realized that source code was more complex than Quake I source; port was bigger than expected.
  • Dominion: Storm Over Gift 3 was released and was quickly killed in the press and market.
  • Morale grew low at Ion Storm due to company politics- programmers were against of switching game engine for Daikatana. Bonuses were given out to motivate employees.
  • Christmas 1998 release was quietly cancelled.
  • Ten Ion Storm employees quit. Eight formed a new company with the help of Mike Wilson. One (Matt Hooper) joined id Software.

1999

Early Ion Storm members.
  • After hiring new staff, Romero decided to restart Daikatana from scratch.
  • Ion Storm worked hard to rebuild the game; trying to show well at E3.
  • In June, Daikatana had bad showing at E3; game showcased only 12 frames per second.
  • Eidos grew fed up with the development time on Daikatana; came to an agreement with Ion Storm which resulted in Eidos receiving majority ownership of the company.
  • Co-owners O'Flaherty and Porter left Ion Storm.
  • Lead programmer Steve Ash quit in August; Shawn Green replaced him.
  • Romero and team worked hard on Daikatana.

2000

Deus Ex, the most successful Ion Storm game.
  • Daikatana finally went beta on March.
  • Daikatana was finally released on April 22. After a three year development, the game received poor reception from press.
  • Ion Storm Austin unleashed Deus Ex on June 23, won Game of The Year.
  • Began working on new game codenamed 'Game X' using Deus Ex engine.
  • Anachronox was still in development.
  • Daikatana was released for the Nintendo 64 on November 21- abysmal game due to rushed development and was panned by the critics.

2001

  • 'Game X' development team shifted focus on Anachronox, trying to finish the game.
  • 'Game X' was cancelled.
  • Anachronox was finally released after a 4 year development- was well received by critics.
  • Eidos shut down Ion Storm Dallas office and everyone was laid off- including Romero, Hall and Stevie Case. Dallas office remains empty to this day.
  • Ion Storm Austin continued work on Deus Ex: Invisible War and Thief: Deadly Shadows.
  • Romero, Hall and Case formed Monkeystone Games.

2003

  • Romero and Hall joined Midway Games in San Diego on October.
  • Deus Ex: Invisible War was released on December 2.

2004

  • Thief: Deadly Shadows was released on May 25.
  • Warren left Ion Storm.

2005

  • Monkeystone Games was shut down.
  • Austin office was shut down too, meaning the end of Ion Storm as a company.

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