Ion Storm was founded by John Romero, Todd Porter and Tom Hall in late 1997, and secured a publishing deal with Eidos soon after their inception. Their aim was to allow talented developers to work in an environment without the pressure of developing new technology and kowtowing to publishers (yes, Daikatana was 3 years late, but almost anywhere else it would have been canned or forced into an early release - it was the mass exodus of staff, the 3 or 4 lead programmers and the over-ambitious plan that led to the end product being shoddy). Ion Storm is an umbrella organisation that consists of several development teams working on large-scale PC games.

With a lavish office and a blaze of publicity feeding their egos, the three founders immediately began drafting elaborate design documents. Some of the mistakes that Ion Storm made in the early days were : hiring 40 people at a time; hiring undisciplined mod-scene hobbyists; hiring artists with no games experience; no disputation of any of the senior staff's ideas; poor communication; overspending; and a bad working environment.

Warren Spector brought his team to the company to facilitate the development of Deus Ex. Ion's next release is likely to be Anachronox, a Quake 2 engined RPG. After that, their plans are so far un-announced, but will hopefully use a newer engine than the ones used in any of their games so far...

An Eidos-financed game development company. Ion Storm has released three games so far, and at least one more is in the works. Ion Storm is based in Dallas, but has a branch office in Austin. Ion Storm Dallas was responsible for Dominion: Storm Over Gift 9 and Daikatana, both of which were pretty much universally regarded as poor games. Ion Storm Austin was responsible for Deus Ex, one of the better games of the year.

Ion has had a stormy history (yeah, OK, it was a bad joke), involving massive employee walkouts, missed release dates, and financial problems. Some of this was the subject of a Dallas Observer article a few years back.

Some of the employees who quit left to found Third Law, some others went to Looking Glass, and still more went to id Software.

Ion got a lot of press early in their existence due to their massive influx of cash and the extravagent penthouse suite in a Dallas office building. The official motto of Ion Storm is "Design is Law".

Ion Storm has been the butt of more than half the jokes in the gaming industry, but Deus Ex has started to alleviate some of that.

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