Making a video game isn’t a one man job, well at least making a good one isn’t. Everybody from the director all the way down to game testers, play a crucial role in determining how good or bad the game will turn out. All these people work together toward a common goal, which is to make a game that leaves an impression on gamers across the world, achieving success in both critical acclaim and sales.
However, there usually is one person who leads the development of a game or of the industry in general. Their vision is what pushes the rest to work toward a goal. It’s hard to come up with a brilliant idea, but it’s harder to convince others of the same. It takes a lot of courage and belief in an idea for one to rise above the rest and see that idea through till its completion. But it is because of some of these visionaries that gaming has reached the heights it has today.
1. Shigeru Miyamoto
If there was ever someone who made what gaming is today, it would without a doubt have to be Mr. Miyamoto. Many contend that he is largely responsible for video games as we know them today. He is the brains behind Mario, the highest selling video game franchise in history.
He is also the visionary responsible for Zelda. The Legend of Zelda was the game that made role playing games popular, because prior to its release RPGs were a niche genre.
2. Hideo Kojima
Games are a great medium for story-telling. There are some really brilliant games out there that are known more for their story than gameplay. Games like these exist because of Hideo Kojima. His contributions to gaming lean more toward the cinematics of a game like cut scenes.
One of his most reputed games, Silent Hills, which never got to see the light of day was nothing short of an absolute thriller. The world was hyped for the release of this game based on just a playable teaser that was released on the PS4. He dared to to push the limits of how stories could be portrayed through gaming and he did so, in his own unique way.
3. John Carmack
This man was single-handedly for taking video games into the realm of 3D. Probably one of the most proficient video game developers that has ever walked the face of the earth. The engines he created showed the world that games can be more than just side scrolling platformers.
He is considered by most the godfather of the modern first person shooter. Carmack was the lead programmer of the id video games Commander Keen, Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake, Rage and their sequels. First person shooters are probably the most loved genre, with leading FPS games like Call of Duty making $650 million within its first week or release. Without Carmack we wouldn’t be able to see McGregor in the Infinite Warfare.
4. Will Wright
This man had another vision for gaming altogether. While others were working on ways to better games, Wright was working on ways to make gaming more mainstream and accessible to the masses.
However, he knew that he would have to tweek the prevalent nature of gaming at the time, which was mainly about winning or losing or dying and surviving. He thought of gaming more like a toy, something you play with to have fun. Wright realized there were people who just wanted to play a game for fun and felt that this change will allow games to appeal to a much larger audience. He proved this by creating The Sims, which is one of the bestselling video game franchises in history.
5. Gabe Newell
The co-founder and director of video game development at Valve. One of the driving forces behind titles like Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Team Fortress, Left 4 Dead and Portal. Being one of the heads to such games in itself is quite a feat, but these are not even the best of Newell’s achievements.
He is known all over the world for being the one who created Steam. The digital distribution platform developed by Valve, has a library of more than six thousand games with over 125 million active users. Only time will tell what this Harvard dropout will produce in the future.
This is a four-part article, so in case you thought we missed out on some other important people, we would most likely cover it in the next iteration. Till then feel free to roam around the our website for more news and random stuff.