We’ve turned our share of video games into movies and TV shows, but what about the real origin stories behind those games? USA Network has raised a flag as the first TV network to develop a series based on the true stories of the genesis of a video game, and it’s a meaty one: Masters of Doom†
Named after the 2003 non-fiction book, the series will revolve around the creation of id Software, its meteoric rise after the launch of 1993’s DOOM, and his iconic pair of studio heads: quirky programming wizard John Carmack and brash, long-haired level designer John Romero. As Deadline reported Thursday, the series currently only exists as a pilot order, meaning the wheels have started to turn to produce and cast a single premiere episode, as opposed to an outright guarantee of a season’s worth of episodes. .
Author Tom Bissell has been awarded the pilot’s writing honors and he’s coming to the gig with experience writing about video games (extra lives) and for video games (Gears of War 4† Bissell’s attachment to the project makes more sense when you consider the production house: Ramona Films, run by James and David Franco (who co-authored Bissell’s book the disaster artist in a 2017 award-winning film). Bissell is one of the project’s many executive producers, alongside original book writer David Kushner.
Deadline has not yet reported on a director or casting decisions. Neither USA Network nor its parent company NBC Universal have formally announced the pilot order for this series.
If the series comes to fruition, it would land neatly in a growing nerd-homage sector on television, wedged between USA Network’s own gritty (and technically accurate) mr. RobotAMCs Stop and catch fireand Netflix’s Weird stuff† No doubt, no Masters of Doom TV adaptation will focus on Romero’s very late ’70s/early ’80s-sounding childhood tales of playing D&D or riding a bike with pockets full of computer-compatible punched cards. And we look forward to seeing the US depict the true anecdote where Carmack is too busy coding to notice a stripper sent to his workplace.
This article has been updated to correct a factual error. It originally said someone named Tom Bissell worked as a QA tester at id Software in the late 90s, but it was a very different Tom Bissell. (Author Tom Bissell reached out to clarify this confusing point. Thanks, Tom.)