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2013年对游戏产业具有重要影响的25个人

发布时间:2014-01-30 08:05:04 Tags:,,,,

作者:James Batchelor & Craig Chapple

这是很重要的一年,即伴随着游戏开发与技术的新突破,并创下了一些预料到或超乎预料的新纪录。

在每个成功与突破背后,都有一些怀揣着梦想并努力工作的人致力于创新工作,不管是在游戏中或者产业里,还是在围绕着它们的公众视角中。

考虑到这点,我们选择了25个在过去12个月里对游戏做出了巨大影响的人。

2013(from develop-online)

2013(from develop-online)

Brenda Romero

在她的职业生涯中,Brenda Romero对游戏做出了巨大的影响,她曾致力于像《Wizardry》系列,《火线猎杀:未来战士》,《龙与地下城》以及《铁血联盟》等游戏的创造。

今年她所获得的认可与赞美包括在GDC所获得的游戏终身成就奖(因为对于游戏产业所做出的贡献)。

作为Loot Drop的首席执行官,同时也是圣克鲁兹大学游戏和播放媒体硕士学位的项目主任,Romero在今年的GDC #1ReasonToBe座谈小组会上发表了有关游戏中的女性以及产业中存在的性别歧视的相关内容,这主要是受到去年Twitter上所传出的对于这一问题的讨论的启发。在演讲的时候,Romero赢得了满堂喝彩,甚至让一些观众流下了感动的泪水。

Julie Uhrman

尽管总是处于一些新争议的中心,Ouya仍对游戏产业具有一些有趣的影响。前年,在前IGN副总裁以及数字发行总经理Julie Uhrman的推动下,市场上的新主机成功地于30天内在Kickstarter上募集到了超过850万美元的资金,在去年5月更是从新投资者那边筹集到1500万美元。

要求每款游戏具有一个免费元素的小型Android主机于去年发布,这不仅重组了主机市场,同时还鼓舞了世界各地的模仿者们通过自己的Android系统去进军用户的起居室。

Ouya也许不像产业巨头微软与索尼创造的新主机那样取得巨大的成功,但很明显,连经常回复社区问题的Uhrman也非常热衷于长时间在这一平台上玩游戏,所以Ouya有望创建属于自己的品牌。

Mike Bithell

作为英国独立开发领域的一大代言人,Mike Bithell自从开始作为独立游戏开发者并在前年面向PC发行《孤独的托马斯》以来便取得了巨大的成功。

从那时以来,游戏就被推向了PS3,Vita和Linux,Bithell也因为该游戏而获得一个叙述使用开发奖。他最新开发的项目是一款潜行行动游戏《Volume》,还没发行就受到其忠实拥护者的热烈追捧了。

Bithell对于更广泛的产业的影响不能被低估,他经常利用Twitter等社交网站将自己置于产业争论的中心,并从不畏惧分享自己的看法。这位大受欢迎的独立开发者也在索尼的PS4和Vita活动中扮演着重要的角色,并且是那些在Gamescom大会中其主导作用的独立开发者中的一份子。

Shahid Ahmad

Shahid Ahmad将索尼从二流发展成像微软在独立领域那样的地位,并作为主要的主机平台持有者去帮助小型开发者放置他们的游戏。

作为SCEE业务开发经理,Ahmad在完善索尼的提交过程并让独立开发者享受更简单的游戏发行过程中扮演着重要的角色,同时,在游戏社区中吸引这些开发者到PS4和Vita中他也起着关键作用。

如果没有Ahmad这个友好且平易近人的角色,对于独立开发者而言索尼的平台可能就不那么友好了,该公司也将不可能依靠其硬件产品的积极性而发展。

Mark Cerny

本身作为一名开发者,Cerny曾经致力于《疯狂的石头》,《刺猬索尼克2》以及《古惑狼》的创造,同时他也是索尼最新主机PS4背后的出谋划策者。在开发者于过去7年基于PS3的独特结构创造游戏后,Cerny花了几年时间周游世界并访问了一些游戏创造者去寻找最理想,且最具开发者友好型的平台。

结果便是超越其前身的PC般结构,并且其希望能让开发者无需担心硬件而有效地传达自己的创造性。

但除了将索尼放进开发者的《圣经》中,Cerny也变身PS4的宣扬者和大使,同时也让开发者和消费者们都对索尼的全新一代硬件充满期待。

Phil Fish

在游戏产业中,独立开发者Phil Fish是个备受争议的任务,特别是他还出现在带有批判性的纪录片《Indie Game: The Movie》中(该片将独立游戏推向了全球)。

从未吝啬分享自己想法的Fish在去年年初宣布他将取消《Fez II》并退出游戏界。

不过不管怎样,他对于游戏的影响仍然很明显,截止至2013年12月,他的等距平台游戏《Fez》在各个平台上已经卖出了100多万份。他将是游戏产业非常不舍的一位开发者,并且按照Cliff Bleszinski所说的那样:回来吧,Phil Fish,我们已经开始想念你了。

Palmer Luckey

虽然只有21岁,Palmer Luckey已经是虚拟现实领域的先驱,并对游戏产业做出了巨大的改变。

他的虚拟现实技术Oculus因为提供给游戏广大的可能性,同时还具有全新沉浸时代的潜能而深受开发者与消费者的欢迎。这是个大受欢迎的理念,并于前年在Kickstarter上从9522个支持者手中募集到240万美元的经费,大大超过其最初25万美元的目标。

实际上,上周该公司还通过许多投资者获得了7500万美元的资金。基于如此强大的经费以及滚滚而来的好评,Luckey已经变成了游戏产业中的一大关键人物,并将在虚拟现实发展中留下永久性的标志。

Andrew Wilson

去年年初,艺电首席执行官John Riccitiello宣布离开该发行巨头,从而让这家公司的最高地位存在空缺。在几个月的寻找后,艺电委任EA Sports的执行副总裁Andrew Wilson去领导公司。

Wilson是第一个从工作室执行者变成CEO的人,并且他还能够深刻洞察艺电庞大的开发工作室的内部工作。

也许Wilson的影响不是面向公共,但是他却在幕后为艺电的未来奠定了基础,这并不是一项简单的任务,并且是抱着要在主机,手机和数字媒体上取得成功的决心。

Sophia George

毕业于阿伯泰邓迪大学并且作为Swallowtail的创始人,Sophia George是英国游戏开发领域一颗不断升起的星星,带领游戏《Tick Tock Toys》赢得了BAFTA大奖。

去年5月,George受任为维多利亚和阿尔伯特博物馆(游戏邦注:世界上最大的装饰艺术和设计博物馆)的第一任游戏设计师,该任命从10月开始生效。George一直肩负着研究呈现于有关英国1500年至1900年的美术馆中的英国设计,并举办了许多公共活动和事件将人们带到游戏设计过程中。该任命不仅吸引了游戏产业的兴趣,同时还吸引了更广阔的公众的注意。

George的名字最近出现在了MCV的“Top 100 Women in Games and Develop’s own 30 under 30”名单中,作为游戏产业中的新兴人才而奠定了自己的位置。

Ilkka Pa1nanen

Ilkka Paannanen是欧洲最热门初创企业,即总部位于芬兰的开发商Supercell的联合创始人兼首席执行官。

在他的带领下,该工作室取消了自己的第一款游戏,即面向Facebook的MMO《Gunshine》,并开始专注于手机平台。这一决定在最近的《Develop》上被描述为“我们所做出的最正确的决定”。

随后该公司开始致力于一些新游戏,并发行了《Clash of Clans》和《Hay Day》这两款大受欢迎的游戏,并始终保持在App Store排行榜的前列。

Paananen同样也在与日本的电信巨头Softbank商定以15亿美元的价格将公司51%的股份卖给对方,如此看来该工作室的估值为30亿美元。这对于一家创建于2010年的年轻公司来说是个非常可观的数值。

Chris Roberts

自从发行了太空模拟游戏《Freelancer》便离开游戏产业好几年后,Chris Roberts于去年带着一款全新太空游戏《Star Citizen》正式回归了。

从那时以来,该项目突破种种预期,并继续从众筹中募集到了数百万的资金,表现出了消费者愿意去填补太空模拟游戏类型中显著缺口的决心。实际上,到目前为止,游戏已经收集到3400万美元的资金,并即将到达3500万美元。

Roberst向我们证明了众筹不仅适用于小项目,同时也能带给AAA级游戏帮助,即将能作为开发者和发行商为自己的游戏募集资金的一种全新方式。

Jade Raymond

也是作为之前《Develop》的一位封面人物,Jade Raymond是育碧多伦多工作室的大姐大(即自从该工作室于2009年成立以来)。育碧因为创建大型工作室而出名,如其蒙特利尔总部,Raymond不断发展该工作室,直至今日已经拥有了300多名员工,之前她也像《Develop》表明自己的目标是在10年内发展到800名员工。

随着工作室的发展,育碧多伦多工作室的第一款主要AAA级游戏于去年发行了,它就是《分裂细胞:黑名单》。这款游戏成为发行商最看重的IP,并且获得了许多评论家的肯定。

显然Raymond并不是独自开发着这样大型的游戏,而创建世界上最大的工作室之一并成功发行一款对于育碧来说非常重要的IP并不是一件简单的任务,但似乎Raymond非常擅于做到这些。

Siobhan Reddy

极少有游戏创造者能够得到主流媒体的认可,更别说是女性创造者。所以当Media Molecule的工作室主管的名字出现在2013年BBC Women’s Hour Power 100(游戏邦注:这是有关英国最强大的100名女性的排名)列表上时真的是个不小的壮举。

作为《小小大星球》工作室的创始者,她之后在BBC Radio 4上大胆地阐述,游戏开发需要更多女性去改变公众对于该产业的认识。

在未出现在媒体面前的时候,她继续审视着Media Molecule的发展,并专注于去年面向Vita发行的热门游戏《Tearaway》,即一款广受好评并成为掌上游戏机拥有者必装游戏。

在创建Media Molecule之前,Reddy曾经在Perfect Entertainment和Criterion Games中工作过。

Pew Die Pie

你可能不知道PewDiePie是谁,但是有超过1800万的游戏粉丝却知道他。作为瑞典游戏玩家Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg的网络化名,PewDiePie是YouTube上最多订阅频道的拥有者。并不是最多订阅的游戏频道,而是跨越各种类别的频道。

Kjellberg的视频主要是致力于电子游戏,范围更是从恐怖游戏过度到一些特别随机且基于游戏主题的喜剧混合内容。

他宣称2013年8月是自己在YouTube上的高峰,他也是众多重新定义在线游戏如何覆盖的用户之一。他创造了一大批忠实用户,以及3年来收集的大量视频—-直到Content ID(游戏邦注:YouTube的全自动内容识别系统)最终删除了它们。

Riccardo Zacconi

作为King的首席执行官兼联合创始人,Riccardo Zacconi及其团队凭借大受全球各地玩家喜欢的《Candy Crush Saga》而对去年的社交游戏领域做出了重要影响。

这款三消游戏是去年最热门的游戏之一,下载量超过了5亿次,并且每天通过Facebook平台就获得了40万英镑—-这对于一款只有1岁多的游戏来说真的已经很突出了。

Zacconi的领导能力帮助该公司推翻了曾经势不可挡的Zynga,并将King带到一个全新的发展点上,即让它可以在美国申请IPO,尽管有消息称它将推迟这一行动。

Gabe Newell

Valve的开发者可能不会再轻松地开发一款游戏了。该公司的市场主导型数字商店Steam已经赚取了足够的收益,而《半条命3》将可能永远都是一个白日梦,但这却不能阻止Gabe Newell及其团队去实验其它的业务。

也许今年该公司所做出的最重要的宣告是创造了SteamOS以及随同的硬件Steam Box。基于Linux的操作系统标志着Newell想要在玩家的起居室建立一个更强大的据点,而这在过去几十年间一直是由PlayStation,任天堂以及Xbox所主导着。

去年Newell还被授予了BAFTA游戏奖。

Jeri Ellsworth

硬件工程师Jeri Ellsworth因为去年年初离开了Valve而成为了新闻头条。她致力于Steam不到一年,并对于该公司如何使用其著名的扁平管理结构进行运行而提供了全新且杰出的视角。

在保持了几个月的沉默后,Ellsworth重新出现了,即她与前Valve的员工Rick Johnson共同创建了一家新公司,Techinal Illusions,并宣称它们的新项目CastAR将包含增强现实与虚拟现实。

他们于去年10月在Kickstarter公开集资,即基于40万美元的目标,并在短短几天内便实现了这一目标。该活动完成于11月,并共募集到超过1百万的资金。虽然不像Oculus那样具有先知性,但是Ellsworth的技术也对今后几年增强现实市场产生了巨大影响,不容被低估。

Rhianna Pratchett

重新塑造像Lara Crofot这样具有标志性的角色真的是件非常困难的任务,但是Pratchett却于去年成功做到了这点。

作为Crystal Dynamics的首席编辑,她的生存故事以及角色特性都让人们能够将Lara Croft从寻宝猎人转变成迷人的女主角—-这在我们的产业中还是少有的能力。

评论家赞赏全新《古墓丽影》关于故事与现代游戏玩法的有效结合,以及针对于当前市场对于之前角色的重新塑造,而Pratchett便是这一结果的大功臣。

他还是2013年另外一款备受瞩目的游戏,《生化奇兵:无限》的编辑。

Anita Sarkeesian

作为Twitter上的Femfreq被广大用户熟知的媒体评论家,Sarkeesian运行着Feminist Frequency这一网站,并致力于讨论流行文化以及各种娱乐形式中对于女性的描述。

去年,她回到Kickstarter为《隐喻vs.女性》这个探索许多用于描述女性游戏角色的老套说法的频道筹集资金。她的目标是6000美元,并最终收到了15.8万美元。

“隐喻vs.女性”的第一集播放于2013年3月,主要由两部分组成,即剖析了困境中的少女角色,以及经典的电子游戏中更常见的原型。

去年11月播放了第二集内容,即探索Ms. Male Character的理念,即将像吃豆人这样的男性主角的性别去吸引女性玩家的注意。

每一集的观看率都超过75万次,“困境中的少女”更是吸引了超过100万的观众,从而帮助公众以及游戏产业更清楚地认识到女性在游戏中所受到的待遇,以及为何这种情况需要做出改变。

Rockstar的Benzies和Garbut

Houser兄弟以为在《侠盗猎车手》系列游戏中的贡献而获得了巨大的赞赏于肯定。而与之具有同样重要作用的是Rockstar North的总裁Leslie Benzies和美术主观Aaron Garbut。

他们两人为取得非常出色成绩的《侠盗猎车手V》明确了清晰的发展方向。《侠盗猎车手V》的成功于影响是有据可查的,但是他们两人的贡献却是没有记录的。

Garbut负责创造自《侠盗猎车手III》以来每一款Rockstar North的游戏世界,他曾说过Los Santos是自己所创造过的最大且从技术上来看最让人印象深刻的环境,而Benzies则对团队成功在最终作品中创造出的完美的关卡和感到自豪。

Jonathan Ross

在2012年的最后几周里,电视节目主持人Jonathan Ross宣称,他不仅要创建一间全新的游戏开发工作室,同时该工作室还准备发行其第一款游戏《Catcha Catcha Aliens》。

在BAFTA上,Ross表示他之所以建立工作室是因为他“真的很想知道创造游戏是怎样的情况。”如今这一好奇心得到了满足,你可能会认为他将回到电视行业中。

但是在2013年10月,微软宣称聘请了Ross作为其Xbox游戏部门的执行制作人。他的任务是帮助微软“改变其想法”并模糊游戏,电视以及其它媒体间的区别。

现在他致力于微软的Lift London工作室,我们可以期待在2014年看到更多他的项目。Jonathan Ross真的快速变成了游戏产业中的一大名人。

Chris Charla

早前PlayStation一直被当成是独立开发者在PS4上的一大机遇,但是直到去年8月份的Gamescom上,微软宣称由Chris Charla领导的独立游戏项目ID@Xbox问世以来,这一机遇才变成现实。

在加入微软前,Charla自己也是一名独立开发者,即主要负责Xbox Live Arcade的游戏组合,而现在他专注于寻找全新的独立开发者为Xbox One创造游戏。

他扮演着微软这一新项目的领袖,去帮助一些工作室将自己的游戏带到新一代主机上,并保障像Vlambeer,Double Fine,Capy以及Halfbrick等公司在2014年早期的游戏开发。

他也参加了微软的ID@事件,包括之前的ID@London,即教授独立开发者有关面向Xbox One开发游戏的可能性。

Neil Druckmann

很长一段时间以来,游戏开发者一直在努力创造带有情感粘性的故事。

但却没有一款游戏能够真正做到这点,直至Naughty Dog于去年发行了《最后生还者》。尽管纽约的大气层被摧毁以及基于行动的游戏玩法都是人们议论的焦点,但这款游戏最值得称赞之处应该是其故事线和特性描述。

其创意总监Druckmann在这方面做出了巨大贡献,他不仅监视了编写工作,同时还兼顾演员选择与指导工作——他甚至还亲自教授表演课程,只为了最终呈现出更好的效果。

他与游戏总监Bruce Straley相互合作,但因为游戏突出的是叙述和让人上瘾的角色,所以我们可以说Druckmann对于《最后生还者》的影响力非常巨大。

Lucas Pope

在去年,很少有哪款游戏能像《Papers,Please》具有同样强大的影响力。这款来自Lucas Pope的PC游戏让玩家扮演一个虚构的东欧国家中的移民官员,每天的工作就是检查想要进入你们国家的人员他们的证件,护照或者是否携带违禁物品等等。

因为精心的设计以及唤醒人们情感反应堆能力,伴随着道德困境,即平衡移民的需求以及满足自己的虚构家庭的需求,这款游戏受到了全世界的游戏媒体的拥护。游戏中的这些困境包括一系列敏感的逃亡者,如人肉炸弹,性交易者以及来自极权主义国家的逃犯。

Pope致力于创造那些非传统类型的游戏—-《Papers,Please》的怀旧风虚拟桌面界面便是典例,并且毫无疑问他将继续在未来创造出更独特的游戏。这是一个注重呈现没有盲目的乐趣,而是传达严肃且法人深思题材的游戏的开发者。

本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,拒绝任何不保留版权的转载,如需转载请联系:游戏邦

Meet the men and women who made a big impact and brought our industry forward in the last twelve months

By James Batchelor & Craig Chapple

It’s been an eventful year, with new ground broken in game development and technology and records shattered by a mixture of expected and very much unexpected smash hits.

Behind every success and breakthrough, there are visionary and hard-working people dedicated to breaking new ground, whether its within games themselves or the industry and public perspective that surrounds them.

With that in mind, the Develop team has compiled a list of the 25 people that made a big impact on games in the past twelve months.

Brenda Romero

Throughout her career, Brenda Romero has made a huge impact on games, working on titles such as the Wizardry series, Ghost Recon Commander, Dungeons & Dragons and Jagged Alliance.

This year has earned her recognition with accolades including the Women in Gaming lifetime achievement award at GDC for making significant contributions to the game industry.

The Loot Drop CEO and program director for the Master’s degree in games and playable media at the University of Santa Cruz also made the news for an impassioned speech about women in games and industry sexism during this year’s GDC #1ReasonToBe panel, inspired by last year’s outpouring on Twitter on the issue under the hashtag #1reasonwhy. Romero received a standing ovation during her speech, and even sparked tears from the audience.

Julie Uhrman

Despite seemingly always being at the centre of a fresh new controversy, Ouya has still had an interesting impact on the game industry. Spearheaded by former IGN VP and GM of digital distribution Julie Uhrman, the new console on the market successfully raised over $8.5m in 30 days on Kickstarter last year, and in May this year raised a further $15m from new investors.

The tiny Android console, which requires a free element to each game, was released this year, in turn shaking up the console market and inspiring a wave of imitators as companies around the world look to take on the living room through their own Android-based systems.

Ouya may not have been a runaway success like the new consoles from industry stalwarts Microsoft and Sony, but it’s clear that Uhrman, who has often responded to issues from the community, is keen to play the long game as Ouya looks to build up its brand.

Mike Bithell

Arguably one of the poster boys for the UK indie sector – a term he’d no doubt hate – Mike Bithell has experienced huge successes since going indie and releasing Thomas Was Alone on PC last year.

Since then, the title has been released on PS3, Vita and Linux, and Bithell also received a Develop Award for Use of Narrative for the title. His latest in-development project, stealth action game Volume, has inspired fanfare from his loyal followers.

Bithell’s impact on the wider industry should not be underestimated either, he has often put himself at the centre of industry debates through social networks such as Twitter, and is never afraid to air his opinion. The popular indie developer has also played a key part in Sony’s PS4 and Vita campaign, and was part of a number of indies that took centre stage during the platform holder’s Gamescom conference.

Shahid Ahmad

Shahid Ahmad has transformed Sony from second fiddle to Microsoft in the indie stakes, to arguably the leading console platform holder for small developers to place their games on.

The SCEE business development manger has played a key part in refining Sony’s submissions process to make life easier for indies, and has played an active role in the community to attract these developers to PS4 and Vita.

Without Ahmad as a friendly and approachable figure, Sony’s platforms could arguably look a lot less indie friendly, and the firm would not be able to ride the wave of positivity surrounding its hardware offerings.

Mark Cerny

A developer himself, having worked on Marble Madness, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Crash Bandicoot, Mark Cerny is the brains behind Sony’s latest console, the PS4. After developers have struggled for the past seven years with the PS3’s unique cell structure, Cerny spent years travelling the world and meeting game creators to discover the most ideal, developer-friendly platform.

The result was a PC-like architecture leagues ahead of its predecessor, and a system that enables developers to flaunt their creativity without worrying whether the hardware can handle it.

But not just putting Sony back in the good books of developers, Cerny has also proven a tremendous speaker and ambassador for the PS4 with his clear talks and what developers can consumers alike can expect for Sony’s new gen hardware.

Phil Fish

Indie developer Phil Fish has been a controversial figure in the game industry, particularly since his appearance on the critically acclaimed documentary Indie Game: The Movie, which propelled the indie to global fame.

Never shy of airing his opinion, earlier this year Fish announced he was cancelling Fez II and would be quitting games for good following what he claimed had been a tirade of abuse against him, bringing to light the vitriolic nature of a large minority of gamers dealing out abuse and threats to developers, often over game design decisions.

His impact on games is still being realised however, and as of this month his isometric platformer Fez has sold one million copies across all platforms. This is one developer that will be sorely missed from the industry, and in the words of Cliff Bleszinski: Come back, Phil Fish. We miss you already.

Palmer Luckey

At just the age of 21, Palmer Luckey has already revolutionised the game industry as a pioneer of the virtual reality space.

His VR tech Oculus has excited developers and consumers with its vast possibilities for gaming, offering the potential for a new era of immersion. The idea has been so popular and well received that last year the tech garnered $2.4 million from 9,522 backers on Kickstarter, smashing its target of $250,000.

In fact, just last week the company received $75 million in funding from numerous investors. With such vast amounts of money and acclaim being poured in to the virtual reality headset, Luckey has already become a key figure in the game industry, and could be set to leave a permanent mark in the sector as the man who made VR possible.

Andrew Wilson

Earlier this year, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello left his post at the publishing giant, leaving a hole at the top of the company. After months of searching, EA looked inwards and appointed EA Sports EVP Andrew Wilson to head up the company.

Wilson is the first studio exec to serve as CEO of the company, a refreshing move for the publisher, as Wilson can offer a keen insight into the inner workings of EA’s vast network of development houses.

Wilson’s impact may not quite have been felt publicly, but behind the scenes he will be laying the groundwork for EA’s future, no easy task, and one that seems hell-bent on success in console, mobile and digital.

Sophia George

Abertay graduate and Swallowtail chair Sophia George is a rising star on the UK game development scene, leading design on the BAFTA award winning title Tick Tock Toys.

In May, George was appointed as the Victoria and Albert museum’s first ever game designer in residence, which officially began in October. George has been tasked with researching the history of British design shown in the Britain 1500-to-1900 galleries, and is holding a number of public activities and events to bring people in on the game design process. The appointment has sparked national interest amongst not just those in the game industry, but the wider public too.

George was also recently named in MCV’s Top 100 Women in Games and Develop’s own 30 under 30, cementing her place as a top emerging talent in games.

Ilkka Paananen

Ilkka Pannanen is the co-founder and CEO of one of Europe’s hottest start-ups, Finland-based developer Supercell.

Under his stewardship the studio took a gamble and cancelled its first game, Facebook MMO Gunshine, after 14 months of development, to focus on mobile. This is a decision the recent Develop cover star described as “the best we have ever made”.

The company subsequently went to work on a number of new titles, resulting in the releases of Clash of Clans and Hay Day, two of mobile’s most popular ever games and constantly starring at the top of the App Store charts.

Paananen also negotiated the sale of a 51 per cent stake in the company to Japanese telecoms giant Softbank for $1.5 billion, valuing the studio at $3bn. Not bad for a studio he formed in 2010.

Chris Roberts

Having taken years out of the game industry following the release of space sim Freelancer, Chris Roberts returned to the sector last year by announcing a new ambitious space game, Star Citizen.

Since then, the project has smashed all expectations, and continues to rack up the millions through crowdfunding, showing an evident gap in the space sim genre that consumers are yearning to be filled. In fact, to date, the game has amassed a mind boggling $34 million and is edging ever closer to $35m.

Roberts has proven that crowdfunding can be utilised not just for small projects, but for ambitious triple-A titles, showing a potential new way forward for developers and publishers looking to finance their games.

Jade Raymond

Another former Develop cover star, Jade Raymond has been spearheading Ubisoft’s Toronto studio since its inception in 2009. Ubisoft is known for building large studios, such as its giant Montreal base, and Raymond has steadily grown the studio to around 300 staff, and previously revealed to Develop her ambitions to bring in up to 800 staff over ten years.

Having overseen the studio’s development, Ubisoft Toronto’s first major triple-A game was released this year, Splinter Cell: Blacklist. One of the publisher’s most prized IPs, the game was met with a positive reception by critics.

While Raymond was obviously not alone in developing such a large title, building one of the world’s biggest studios and successfully releasing a game in a key franchise for Ubisoft is no easy task, and one Raymond has clearly excelled in.

Siobhan Reddy

Few game makers get recognised by the mainstream media, and even fewer are women. So it was no small feat that Media Molecule’s studio director made it into the BBC Women’s Hour Power 100 list for 2013, a ranking of the 100 most powerful women in the UK.

The founder of the LittleBigPlanet studio later spoke out on BBC Radio 4, insisting that more women are needed in games development to change the public perception of the industry.

Away from her media appearances, she continues to oversee Media Molecule, concentrating this year on last month’s hit Vita release Tearaway, a critically acclaimed title that has made itself a must-have for owners of the handheld, and a potential system seller.

Before founding Media Molecule, Reddy worked at Perfect Entertainment and Criterion Games.

Pew Die Pie

You might not know who PewDiePie is, but over 18 million gaming fans do. The online alias of Swedish gamer Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, PewDiePie is the owner of YouTube’s most subscribed channel of all time. That’s not most subscribed gaming channel, but most subscribed across all categories.

Kjellberg’s videos are all entirely dedicated to video games and range from Let’s Play walkthroughs of horror titles to extremely random, gaming-themed comedy montages.

He claimed his YouTube crown in August 2013, and is one of many users that is redefining how games are covered online. He has built up a loyal audience and a hefty three-year collection of videos – until Content ID pulls them down, of course.

Riccardo Zacconi

CEO and co-founder of King, Riccardo Zacconi and his team have had a massive impact on the social games scene this year, thanks primarily to the world-conquering Candy Crush Saga.

The match-three puzzler was one of the most played game of the year, has been downloaded over 500m times and at one point was said to be bringing in £400,000 per day just through Facebook – not bad for a game that is only just over a year old.

Zacconi’s leadership helped the firm topple the once unstoppable Zynga and brought King to a point where it could file for IPO in the US, although reports claim it has since decided to postpone this.

Gabe Newell

The developers at Valve could comfortably never develop a game again. The firm’s market-leading digital store Steam draws in enough revenue that Half-Life 3 might forever remain a pipe dream, but that hasn’t stopped boss Gabe Newell and his team from experimenting with the business.

Perhaps the most significant announcement this year from the house of Newell is the creation of SteamOS and accompanying hardware, the Steam Box. The Linux-based operating system signals Newell’s intention to establish a stronger foothold in gamers’ living rooms, which for decades have been dominated by the likes of PlayStation, Nintendo and Xbox.

Newell also picked up the Fellowship award at this year’s video game BAFTAs.

Jeri Ellsworth

Hardware engineer Jeri Ellsworth made the headlines early on this year when she was one of roughly 25 Valve employees that were made redundant early in the year. She had been working for the Steam firm for less than a year, and after being let go offered a new and fascinating perspective on how firm operates with its famous flat-management structure.

After a few months of silence, Ellsworth re-emerged when she set up a new company, Techinal Illusions, with fellow ex-Valve employee Rick Johnson and announced their new project: CastAR, glasses that incorporate both augmented and virtual reality.

The duo launched a Kickstarter in October with a target of $400,00, which it reached within a matter of days. The campaign finished in November, having raised an impressive total of over $1m. While not quite heralded like the Oculus, Ellsworth’s tech could have a major impact on the augmented reality market for years to come, and should not be underestimated.

Rhianna Pratchett

It’s a tall order reinventing an iconic character like Lara Crofot, one that has attracted as much criticism as praise, but Pratchett succeeded with this year’s Tomb Raider reboot.

As lead writer for the Crystal Dynamics blockbuster, her story of survival and the characterisation that it provokes transformed Lara Croft from a treasure hunter wielding guns and breasts into a compelling female protagonist – something that is still too much of a rarity in our industry.

Critics praised the new Tomb Raider’s blend of narrative and modern gameplay, as well as how a previously dating character had been reinvented for today’s market, and Pratchett’s work was central to this.

She was also an additional writer on another of 2013’s most discussed games, BioShock Infinite, the creation of Ken Levine and his talented team at Irrational.

Anita Sarkeesian

Better known as Femfreq on Twitter, media critic Sarkeesian runs the website Feminist Frequency, which discusses the portrayal of women in pop culture and all forms of entertainment.

Last year, she turned to Kickstarter to fund Tropes vs Women, a series that would explore the stereotypes personified by many female games characters. The target was $6,000; she received $158,000.

The first episode of Tropes vs Women aired in March 2013, a two-parter that dissected the role of damsel in distress, one of the more common archetypes in classic video games.

Last month, she aired a second episode exploring the idea of Ms. Male Character, changing the gender of a male protagonist like Pac-Man to appeal to women.

Each episode has been watched more than 750,000 times, with the first part of Damsel in Distress racking up over one million views, helping shed light to the industry and public on how women are treated in games, and why this can and should change.

Rockstar’s Benzies and Garbut

The Houser brothers are often given the credit for the hard work that goes into the Grand Theft Auto games, as well as the praise that follows. But just as important to the process are Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies and art lead Aaron Garbut.

This duo was instrumental in defining the vision of what would become the record-breaking Grand Theft Auto V. The impact and success of GTA V is well documented, but perhaps not the contributions of these two individuals.

Garbut, who has been responsible for creating every Rockstar North game world since GTA III, has said Los Santos is the biggest and most technologically impressive environment he has ever created, while Benzies is most proud of the level of polish and perfection his team managed to achieve in the final build.

Jonathan Ross

It was in the closing weeks of 2012 that TV presenter Jonathan Ross announced that not only was he opening a new game development studio, but that it was also ready to release its first game Catcha Catcha Aliens.

At a BAFTA event shortly after launch, Ross said he had opened the studio because he “really wanted to know what it was like making games”. With that curiosity now satisfied, you would have thought he would return his attentions to his TV career.

But in October 2013, Microsoft announced Ross has been hired as an executive producer at its Xbox gaming division. He has been tasked with helping Microsoft “change its thinking” and “blur the distinctions” between games, TV and other media.

He is currently working with Microsoft’s Lift London studio and no doubt we’ll learn more about his project in 2014. Jonathan Ross is fast becoming yet another huge personality for the game industry.

Chris Charla

PlayStation has been vocal from an early stage about the opportunities for indie developers on PS4, but it wasn’t until Gamescom in August that Microsoft announced its own indie games scheme in the form of ID@Xbox, headed by Chris Charla.

An independent developer himself before joining Microsoft, Charla was previously responsible for Xbox Live Arcade’s portfolio of games and is now focused solely on finding new indies to create games for Xbox One.

He has been the figurehead for everything Microsoft is doing to help these studios bring their titles to the next-gen console, and has helped secure the likes of Vlambeer, Double Fine, Capy and Halfbrick to ready titles for early 2014.

He has also been travelling with Microsoft’s ID@ events, including last week’s ID@London, which educate indies about the possibilities of developing for Xbox One.

Neil Druckmann

Game developers have long been striving to create emotionally engaging stories that surpass their title’s noisy gun battles and meticulously animated set pieces for many years now.

But arguably none have achieved this as well as Naughty Dog with its critically acclaimed 2013 release The Last Of Us. While the atmospheric ruins of New York and action-packed gameplay were big talking points, perhaps the title’s most praised aspect is its storyline and characterisation.

Creative director Druckmann was instrumental in this, not only overseeing the writing but also casting and directing – he even took up acting lessons in order to work more efficiently with the cast.

He worked hand in hand with game director Bruce Straley, but with such an emphasis on the narrative and engaging characters, it is safe to say Druckmann’s impact on The Last Of Us is keenly felt.

Lucas Pope

Few indie games have had the same impact as Papers, Please this year. Lucas Pope’s PC title puts players in the role of an immigration officer in a corrupt fictitious Eastern European nation, charging them with screening anyone who wishes to enter the country.

It was championed by the global games media for its thoughtful design and the emotional responses it evokes with its moral quandaries, balancing the needs of the immigrants versus the needs of your fictional family. These dilemmas covered a range of sensitive fugitives such as suicide bombers, sex traders and fugitives from totalitarian states.

Pope specialises in making games that are not based on traditional genres – perfectly evidenced by Papers, Please’s retro-styled virtual desktop interface – and will no doubt continue to produce more unique titles in the years to come. This is one developer that shows games don’t have to be mindless fun, but can take on a serious subject matter and be thought-provoking, too.(source:develop-online)


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