Nintendo’s longstanding, award-winning, seminal franchise-creating maestro takes top spot
Over 9,000 game developers from across the globe have declared Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto as their game developer hero.
The international survey, commissioned by the Develop Conference, saw the Mario and Zelda creator take nearly 30 per cent of the total vote, at around 3,000.
“It’s no surprise that Miyamoto-san is the development hero of developers – over the last thirty years he has created games that have not only driven the evolution of the games industry but also changed people’s lives,” said Andy Lane, managing director of Tandem Events, organiser of the Develop Conference in Brighton.
“He has mastered the art of developing titles that are innovative but never at the cost of gameplay: games that are ground breaking, yet still mass market.
Miyamoto is followed by id Software founder John Carmack – the lead programmer on the seminal FPS Doom – who takes second place.
In third is the longstanding Maxis founder Will Wright, a man responsible for the Sims and Sim franchises, as well as Spore.
Liverpool-born Dave Jones is the first Briton in the top ten. The Realtime Worlds founder is best known for his work on two pioneering games; Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto. He takes fourth.
Civilisation developer Sid Meier takes fifth. The MicroProse founder was in fact the second person to be inducted in the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences' Hall of Fame, just after Shigeru Miyamoto.
Bullfrog and Lionhead founder Peter Molyneux takes sixth, following a long career which has brought the arrival of games like Black & White, Populous, Fable and, perhaps soon, Milo.
Frontier founder David Braben follows closely behind in seventh. Though perhaps best known for his co-writing on the first Elite, he has led teams at Frontier to produce games such as Lost Winds and Rollercoaster Tycoon. The company is hard at work on the intriguing political-action adventure, The Outsider.
In eighth is Masaya Matsuura, who singlehandedly turned the page when developing PaRappa The Rapper, earning the developer a number of awards.
Blizzard Entertainment co-founder Michael Morhaime takes ninth, after being involved in the development of high-profile games such as StarCraft, Diablo and of course World of Warcraft.
Tenth goes to indie talent Jonathan Blow, a determined individual whose self-funded project Braid quickly became a gemstone for Microsoft’s XBLA service.
Tandem Events’ Andy Lane said he was thrilled that three of the top ten development heroes – Dave Jones, David Braben and Masaya Matsuura – will be attending this year’s Develop Conference in Brighton, which runs from 14-16 July.
The survey’s methodology was not disclosed.
Full list follows:
1. Shigeru Miyamoto
2. John Carmack
3. Will Wright
4. Dave Jones
5. Sid Meier
6. Peter Molyneux
7. David Braben
8. Masaya Matsuura
9. Michael Morhaime
10. Jonathan Blow