Masters of Doom


Masters of Doom cover

Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture is a book by David Kushner about id Software and its influence on popular culture, focusing chiefly on John Romero and John Carmack. Adopting a novel-like narrative, Kushner chronicles the lives of both men from childhood through the early successes of id Software, the new heights the company reached with Doom, on through to their separation as developers after Quake. Kushner was an early entrant into the field of video-game journalism, and recycled some of his own original reporting in the book.

In 2019, a television pilot adaptation began production for USA Network, but actor Rahul Kohli stated in April 2021 that the filmed pilot was not picked up by the network.[1]


"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."
― Publisher's description


Edition Publisher Date Pages Dewey Decimal ISBN-10 ISBN-13 LOC Classification LCCN Open Library ID
Hardcover (1st Ed) Random House 6 May 2003 352 794.8/092/2, B ISBN 0375505245 ISBN 978-0375505249 GV1469.15 .K87 2003 2002026598 OL3561326M
Paperback Random House 24 Apr 2003 335 ISBN 1588362892 ISBN 978-1588362896 - - OL24264538M
Reprint, Paperback Piatkus Books 30 Oct 2003 352 ISBN 0749924756 ISBN 978-0749924751 - - OL7970019M
Reprint, Paperback Random House 11 May 2004 368 ISBN 0812972155 ISBN 978-0812972153 - - OL8021008M
Turtleback Demco 29 Sep 2004 ISBN 0606313451 ISBN 978-0606314352 - - OL10943886M

Translated editions[edit]

Language Title Co-author(s) / translation Publisher Year ISBN
Chinese DOOM启世录(纪念版) 孙振南 电子工业出版社 2015 ISBN 978-7121264702
French Les maîtres du jeu vidéo Marguerite Baux Ecole des loisirs 2010 ISBN 978-2211200196
Hungarian A Doom legendája: Hogyan változtatta meg John Carmack és John Romero a világot - I. A kezdet Gergő Szalay Kaposvári Nyomda Kft. 2003
Hungarian A Doom legendája: Hogyan változtatta meg John Carmack és John Romero a világot - II. Külön utakon Gergő Szalay Kaposvári Nyomda Kft. 2003
Italian Masters of Doom: Ovvero come due ragazzi hanno creato un impero e trasformato la cultura pop Salvatore Cutaia (ed) and Fabio Cristi 2009 ISBN 978-8889164198
Polish Masters of Doom. O dwóch takich, co stworzyli imperium i zmienili popkulturę. Marcin Kosman Open Beta 2020 ISBN 978-8394162535
Russian Властелины Doom: Как двое парней создали игровую индустрию и воспитали целое поколение геймеров Olga Terentjeva Mann, Ivanov i Ferber 2014 ISBN 978-5000573723
Russian Повелители DOOM. Как два парня создали культовый шутер и раскачали индустрию видеоигр Mikhail Bocharov, Alexey Matveev, Pavel Ruchkin, Vladimir Sechkarev Bombora 2020 ISBN 978-5041065461
Spanish Maestros del Doom: Cómo dos colegas crearon un imperio y transformaron la cultura popular Óscar Palmer Yáñez Es Pop Ediciones 2018 ISBN 978-8494458750


An authorized Hungarian translation was produced in two volumes, entitled A Doom legendája: Hogyan változtatta meg John Carmack és John Romero a világot (English: Legend of Doom: How John Carmack and John Romero changed the world). An authorized Spanish translation entitled Maestros del Doom: Cómo dos colegas crearon un imperio y transformaron la cultura popular was created by Es Pop Ediciones in April 2018.

Audio books[edit]

A full unabridged audio book edition was produced in 2012 by Narrated by actor Wil Wheaton, the recording has a total duration of 12 hours and 43 minutes.

Television adaptation[edit]

While the Doom movie was still in production, on April 13, 2005 it was announced Showtime Networks was working with executive producer Naren Shankar to develop a feature film based on Masters of Doom.[2] After the project fell through, in a June 14, 2018 interview David Kushner stated, "right now there are people interested into turning this into a TV show."[3]

In June 2019 USA Network ordered a TV pilot for an anthology series with James and Dave Franco included among its executive producers.[4] On September 26, 2019, Rhys Thomas (Saturday Night Live, Documentary Now!) was named as director with actors Eduardo Franco (Booksmart) and Patrick Gibson (The OA) named to star respectively as John Romero and John Carmark.[5] By February 2020 the pilot was in post-production.[6]

An April 2021 post on Twitter by actor Rahul Kohli (iZombie, The Haunting of Bly Manor) suggested the completed pilot was not picked up by USA Network, making it unlikely to ever air.[1]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Rahul Kohli (21 April 2021). "I just watched the pilot for Masters of Doom, which tells the story of how DOOM came to be... and there's a chance none of you will ever get to see it. It was one of the best episodes of TV I've ever seen." Twitter. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  2. Denise Martin (13 April 2005). "Showtime’s ‘Doom’ day." Variety. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  3. Martine Paris (15 June 2018). "Hi all, here’s the video - 'Right now there are people interested in turning this into a TV show - Masters of Doom - but you know Hollywood, we’ll see what happens' :D." Twitter. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  4. Joe Otterson (27 June 2019). "‘Masters of Doom’ Series Produced by Franco Brothers Lands USA Network Pilot Order." Variety. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  5. Will Thorne (26 September 2019). "‘Masters of Doom’ Pilot at USA Network Sets Cast, Director." Variety. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  6. Joe Otterson (6 February 2020). "Gotham Group Sets First-Look Deal With Fox 21 Television Studios." Variety. Retrieved 15 August 2020.