Ion Storm is an American video game developer. They are best known for the Deus Ex, Quantum Slide, Epic Mickey, and Anachronox series.
It was founded in 1996 by John Romero and Tom Hall. Romero and Hall toyed with the idea of buying an unfinished game from another studio so they could have an early release. But, in the end they decided against it so they could spend more time working on their business plan. Ion’s Storm’s first project was Diakanta. It was released in time for its Christmas 1997 deadline because Romero was not able to switch over to the Quake 2 engine. The Quake 2 engine was not available because Id Software decided to wait until E3 1998 before announcing it. Also the fact that Romero spent more time honing his management skills than he did in the OTL helped to ensure Daikatana’s timely release. Diakanta made much more money in the ATL then it did OTL, but it still didn’t sell as well as Romero had hoped.
Ion Storm announced their second project Anachronox in April 1997. It was originally scheduled to be released in May 1998 but was pushed back to August because there were bugs that needed to be fixed. Anachronox was considered the first successful attempt by an American studio to make a Japanese style RPG.It was known for its colorful cast of characters like the down on his luck detective Sly Boots and Democratus. Democratus was a planet run by a highly dysfunctional bureaucracy whose people have learned how to shrink the planet and turn it into a spaceship Anachronox won great praise for its story, battle system, and puzzles. However, the graphics were considered a little outdated.The second game in the Anachronox series, Anachronox Prime was released in 2001. In 2003 a Dreamcast version of Anachronox was released.In 2004, Ion Storm released a spinoff of Anachronox called Revolution on Democratus. It takes place on Democratus during the events of Anachorox Prime and follows the exploits of a rebel group called SEFAS (Society for a Efficient and Fair Administrative System) as they try to overthrow the incompetent high council of Democratus and install a much more functional form of government.The final entry in the Anachronox series, Anachronox Terminus was release in 2006.
In 2000, Ion Storm released John Romero’s Quantum Slide. Quantum Slide was a parallel world theme game, known for its puzzles and references to 90’s Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV shows like Sliders, Quantum Leap and Twin Peaks. Quantum Slide’s most acclaimed feature was the ability to switch dimensions in mid-fight to take advantage of different terrains. A sequel to Quantum Slide was released in 2003. In 2006 Ion storm jump-started the 2.5D trend with a remake of Commander Keen in Invasion of the Vorticons. A remake of Commander Keen in Goodbye Galaxy was released in 2008. Ion storm also revived the canceled Commander Keen in The Universe is Toast project and released it in 2011. John Romero is currently working on Quantum Slide 3.
Ion Storm Austin
In 1997 Ion Storm opened up an Austin Texas branch. The first game produced by Ion Storm Austin was the hugely successful Deus Ex.
A Dreamcast port of Deus Ex was released in 2002. A sequel to Deus Ex, Deus Ex: Invisible War was released in 2003. After the demise of Looking Glass Studios, several of its former employees joined Ion Storm Austin to finish work on the third Thief game. The final product, Thief Deadly shadow was released in 2004 for the Dreamcast and PC. Eventually, Disney hired Ion Storm Austin to make video games based on the cartoon Dave the Barbarian. The game was not a huge success but it impresses Disney enough to commission Ion Storm Austin to work on the Epic Mickey Series.