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The Romeros: “We have at least 20 to 30 more years of making games”

Legendary developers John and Brenda Romero say they're nowhere near retiring on the latest GamesIndustry.biz Podcast

The games industry can expect decades of more projects from both John and Brenda Romero.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz on the latest episode of our podcast, the couple disputed the idea that their careers have peaked.

The discussion emerged from the number of honours both designers have received this year - including a BAFTA for Brenda, an Honorary Award from the Fun & Serious Games Festival for John, and Legend awards during last week's Develop:Brighton conference.

"It's been a surreal year," Brenda says on the podcast. "To get a BAFTA, then a Legend award in a single year... I remember when I found out about both, I said to John: am I about to die?"

With many of their most recent accolades celebrating their entire careers, do the Romeros worry that the perception in the industry is that they have peaked, or have little more to offer? John doesn't think so.

"We have at least 20 to 30 more years of making games," he says. "So what do they do after that point? If you get a Legend or Lifetime Achievement halfway through your career, what's next? What's the next level? Ultra Legend? I'm excited to find out."

Brenda adds: "You just keep making games. I feel like I don't have anything to prove, except to myself. I don't feel like I'm climbing the mountain anymore, but I'm looking for whatever that next mountain is going to be.

"I don't feel like I have anyone to please except the game [I'm working on], and making that the best it can possibly be."

It's a healthy attitude to take. Almost every article written about the pair now refers to John's work on Doom and Quake, or Brenda's accomplishments with the Wizardry series. With both the press and the public constantly referencing their past successes, the Romeros set their attentions firmly forward to relieve the pressure.

"I feel like I'm at a really comfortable point of my career," says Brenda. "I feel like I've finally got the skills I need to craft the things I want to make."

The duo currently work together at Galway-based studio Romero Games, and the name is more than just a reminder of who owns it. Instead, it's a statement about what the couple plan to do for the rest of their working lives.

"This is the forever company," says Brenda. "We're not interested in selling the company, or changing anything. This is what we want to do as long as we possibly can - at least for 20 more years."

You can listen to the latest episode of The GamesIndustry.biz Podcast here.

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