Sports Interactive founders given MBEs

Sports Interactive founders given MBEs
Michael French

By Michael French

December 31st 2009 at 12:49PM

The Collyer brothers and other industry leaders named in The Queen's New Year Honours list

The two brothers who founded London-based Sports Interactive have been given MBEs in The Queen's New Year Honours list.

Oliver and Paul Collyer founded Sports Interactive in 1992. The London-based studio has gone on to be the defining force in the sports management genre, regularly producing best-selling titles for PC and other formats.

Its well-known games include Football Manager and Championship Manager.

Their new honours have been granted to acknowledge their services to the games indsutry.

A statement from the two published on the official SI Games forum said: "We are really proud to have been given this honour, which is something we never thought would happen to us.

"We first started working on the ideas that have become the Football Manager series over 20 years ago because we wanted to make football management games that we wanted to play. That the games have been so successful was never part of the master plan, and we have to thank everyone on the team at Sports Interactive for all their work over the last two decades, as well as our teams of researchers, testers, moderators, Sega and our other publishing partners, and our community for everything they've done, as we certainly wouldn't be able to be accepting this honour without all of their hard work.

"We're still heavily involved in the games, with Paul heading up the match engine, and Ov heading up Football Manager Live, and we look forward to many more years making games with the rest of the team that so many people out there enjoy to play.

"We feel really lucky to be receiving this honour because we've been lucky enough to spend our lives doing something we enjoy, and indulging one's passion is easy - therefore we dedicate the awards to everyone who has helped us along the way - thank you to all of you."

They weren't the only games industry leaders to be named in the New Year Honours list - Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens was given a CBE and former EA and ELSPA boss Paul Jackson an OBE for their work in video games.

Cousens, current CEO of Codemasters, started in the games industry in 1981 as founder of publisher Quicksilva. He then joined Activision to help set up its first UK base in 1986, subsequently establishing its development resource. Later on he served as senior management of Acclaim from 1991 to 2004, eventually becoming CEO. In 2005 he joined Codemasters a year after Acclaim shut down. Cousens has been involved in a number of industry trade body and charity initiatives throughout the last two decades.

Paul Jackson, meanwhile, is best known for a lengthy tenure at EA - he worked at the company for a number of years, first in a sales position, and eventually served as VP for North Europe at the publisher. He left in 2006 to become chairman of ELSPA - after having served as a key board member for the trade association for 12 years. Earlier this year he handed over the reins to Mike Rawlinson, and became CEO of specialist software firm RailSimulator.