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Games Entertainment

Are These People Reshaping the Gaming Industry? 127

Posted by Zonk
from the hard-to-carry-around-their-massive-brains dept.
Mark Graham writes "An EU game development site has put up a list of the 25 people they think are 'reshaping the games business'. Although they admit the list is highly subjective, it's a debate-provoking piece, and some of the entries (Portal designer Kim Swift and Kongregate.com's founder) are spot on, going for the people that have introduced innovations rather than those that dominate column inches. Miyamoto is absent from the list, for example — although his boss Satoru Iwata is in there. Including Japansese designers like Hironobo Sakaguchi (ranked for his successful prolific outsourced development process) instead of Hideo Kojima is sure to anger a few fanboys. Or at least raise a few eyebrows." Anyone they left off that should obviously be on there?
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Are These People Reshaping the Gaming Industry?

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  • by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowsky@nOsPAm.gmail.com> on Thursday February 07, 2008 @11:44AM (#22334156) Homepage Journal
    The list is a fraud, without him. Old Man Murray and Sons was the funniest web site ever, and the games he's writing for now have a depth and clarity of writing that honestly eludes most title. Plus, he's pretty damned funny.
    • by mrxak (727974)
      Can somebody paste in the full list? It seems the page has been slashdotted already.
    • by Hatta (162192)
      Who? What? Where? Got a link?
    • Technically he's in there as well. He's given an honorable mention from within Kim Swift's section.
    • by rpillala (583965)

      Don't forget Chet Faliszek. They're both at Valve now, right? I heard at least one of them in the TF2 commentary for Hydro. The spiritual successor to Old Man Murray seems to be Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw at Escapist Magazine, in case you haven't run across his reviews yet.

  • by kriston (7886)
    Do you think that, just maybe, for Slashdot's ten year anniversary we might be able to fix that Atari joystick icon so the button is on the left-hand side like it's supposed to be?

    That is all.
  • She's quite pretty in the face. Makes me want to cuddle her!
  • by majorme (515104)
    wtf? clowns such as Avni Yerli and Mark Rein next to John Carmack and John Riccitiello? what a joke
    • by xero314 (722674)
      And what was the last thing Carmack did that wasn't just a rehash of something he'd done 10+ years ago?
      • by majorme (515104)
        He did id Tech 5 which has almost nothing to do with previous technology.
        That's quite a leap unlike Far Cry -> Crysis.
        • by xero314 (722674)
          Ah I see, creating a new version of your old First Person Shooter game engine qualifies as "Reshaping the game industry." I'm not trying to support the others on the list, expect Iawata and Rigopoulos, just saying the only thing Carmack ever did to "Reshape" the game industry was over ten years ago when he single handedly destroy the idea of unique and creative games and turned everything into a FPS. Current reshaping of the industry is turning it's back of the creations of Carmack and other has beens.
  • by Sciros (986030) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @11:58AM (#22334406) Journal
    To put Sakaguchi in there and not Miyamoto is pretty insane, especially given their "being the creator of FF is enough" quote. Miyamoto isn't out of the picture just yet, especially with Mario Galaxy just having been released. He is also one of the driving forces behind the innovation that Nintendo is working to saturate the market with.

    Hopefully the Bioshock guy, Ken Levine is on there. I just read the article but forgot right away. Also they need a guy from Harmonix (Guitar Hero developer) if there isn't one.

    Kojima, yeah he's not really big-time on the radar right now. MGS4 is highly anticipated but it's not a reason to slide into the top 25. If you take Kojima then you need to take Itagaki and probably a host of other "fan-fave" developers that push the boundaries in certain genres.
    • by twistedsymphony (956982) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @12:46PM (#22335200) Homepage
      ...Itagaki...

      Don't get me wrong, I love the games that this guy produces but I'd hardly classify re-releasing the same exact game for over a decade with little more than slightly more refined mechanics and graphics every single time as "industry reshaping". By that same token I don't think Kojima belong anywhere near that list either.

      In my opinion an industry shaping player is someone who makes a game, good or bad, popular or not, profitable or not, new ideas or not, and makes other developers in the industry start thinking about their own game design as a result. I can think of several instances this generation where games have come out and their design elements have started trickling into other games in the industry. They might not have been the first to do something, but they were the first to start certain trends in the industry.

      I think Portal did that with the portal system and associated gameplay, I think Gears of War did that with it's gameplay style, I think a lot of Nintendo's games have done that with the way their games use the Wii Remote, Test Drive unlimited did it with their online gameplay system, and fight night 3 did it with their analog control mechanism. Older examples are the Guitar Hero series making music a major gameplay element and Fable with it's ideals of a good vs evil evolution.

      as I said these aren't the first games to use these concepts but they are the games that sparked trends that have started flowing through the industry whole industry.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sciros (986030)
        With regard to Itagaki, you're talking about DOA exclusively. BUT!! he pushed the boundaries like few others with Ninja Gaiden for X-Box. It's still the "game to beat" when it comes to the action genre. Killer graphics for its time, very fluid movement, etc. A very solid package as far as the game goes. But Itagaki went the extra mile, which people took for granted -- he release free Hurricane Packs through XBox Live, adding more content and enhancing the gameplay via improved AI, optional camera control, e
      • "I think Gears of War did that with it's gameplay style"

        The fact that you'd mention gears of war is a testament to your lack of gaming history. Many games have done the duck and cover, it wasn't 'new' so much as repackaged gameplay with new animations. Gears was not innovative it was just a game with awesome graphics, built in the fps mold.

        • The fact that you'd mention gears of war is a testament to your lack of gaming history. Many games have done the duck and cover, it wasn't 'new' so much as repackaged gameplay with new animations.

          I think the fact that you neglected to read a point I iterated twice is a testament to your lack of literacy. I never said they were the first, nor did I say they were innovative. I know that Gears is neither, and I stated that fact _TWICE_. You also seem to be confusing "Industry Shaping" with "innovation" which

      • In my opinion an industry shaping player is someone who makes a game, good or bad, popular or not, profitable or not, new ideas or not, and makes other developers in the industry start thinking about their own game design as a result

        Fair point, but it's not criteria the list is using. Kim Swift being in the list isn't directly related to anything to do with Portal's core gameplay mechanics, it's for demonstrating the value of gaming-specific degree courses.

        She's in not for any impact on game design, bu
        • That's a good point I suppose anything that changes the way the industry does business would be considered Industry Reshaping. I guess I interpreted it more along the lines of reshaping game design. But both are portions of industry as a whole.
    • Also they need a guy from Harmonix (Guitar Hero developer) if there isn't one.

      Alex Rigopoulos
      Harmonix
      An MIT graduate, Rigopoulos and fellow classmate Eran Egozy teamed up in 1995 to mix business with their pleasure (music) and technical skills. The studio's early cult hits Frequency and Amplitude were really just the sound of the orchestra warming up. His studio's next salvo, Guitar Hero was then the opening act, creating for eventual owner Activision (which acquired GH publisher Red Octane) a $1bn franchise. Selling out to MTV at the breakthrough act point was a shrewd move. Milking the new management's music industry contacts and forging a distribution deal with EA has demonstrated a huge stroke of smart independent studio business thinking and an enviable DLC model.

  • Stardock (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Marc_Hawke (130338) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @12:03PM (#22334494)
    They just released IronClad's Sins of a Solar Empire. www.sinsofasolarempire.com If you don't know what this game is, I can't tell you without referencing 3 or 4 other games. It's more than a cross-over, and it's very well done. (As worthy to be on the list as Portal.)

    However, if you look at Stardock as a publisher they deserve the spot even more. If you remember the big stink between StarForce and Stardock back when Galactic Civilizations was released. They continue their style of "don't screw the people who actually pay you."

    Also, while there are only a few triple-A titles on Stardock Central, their scheme of 'digital download' + 'mail you a box for shipping costs' is much more palatable to me than Valve's Steam service where you are forced to make your own hardcopies from their backup files. It also get nicely out of the way once you've installed the game vs Valve's ubiquitous TSR style.

    http://www.stardock.com/ [stardock.com]

    (they mainly do desktop customization and other utilities, but they have an extensive selection of budget games and a few large titles.)
    • I'm in total agreement with you.

      Stardock is one of the best companies I've ever done business with. I love their mainline games. No one who is a serious multi account MMO gamer plays without Multiplicity or Synergy (GPL Equivalent).

      They just have all these little pieces of things you need, in all the right niches. Sins of a Solar Empire is a Grade "A" title and their licensing scheme/download at any time policy is simply marvelous.
    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Also, while there are only a few triple-A titles on Stardock Central, their scheme of 'digital download' + 'mail you a box for shipping costs' is much more palatable to me than Valve's Steam service where you are forced to make your own hardcopies from their backup files. It also get nicely out of the way once you've installed the game vs Valve's ubiquitous TSR style.

      Since when did anyone have to do a backup of Steam's apps? You can delete 'em at will, and re-download 'em freely (I've done so on all my PCs

      • by Gr8Apes (679165)
        Brad Wardell/Stardock produces some of the best least hyped games out there. Their stance on DRM alone should make any self-respecting /.er buy at least one of their games. They also tend to have much better AI than the competition, and created some of the first multi-threaded games, as they originally developed for OS/2 whcih encouraged multi-threading in applications just as a best practice. (I'm a long time Stardock fan, all the way back to their OS/2 days - Object Desktop for OS/2 was something to behol
  • by sjaguar (763407) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @12:05PM (#22334520) Homepage
    Unfortunately, it isn't for the better. Maybe if I stop playing games, get out of the house, exercise, eat properly.... Just one more quest. I swear, this one's the last one.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Freeside1 (1140901)

      The Gaming Industry is Shaping Me... Unfortunately, it isn't for the better. Maybe if I stop playing games, get out of the house, exercise, eat properly....
      Same here, but I think 'round' is a pretty good shape.
    • by johannesg (664142)
      Take up geocaching. It is just like questing, with the added bonuses of real sunlight, possible interaction with other people, and even genuine threats to your life ;-)
      • by sjaguar (763407)
        Geocaching is a good idea. But, for $15 I can play WoW for a month. I couldn't fill up my gas tank for that amount. And if you say anything about walking/riding a bike I'm going to come over there and slap you. Actually, maybe there's a service to do that. :)
  • Video Game Industry, or Gaming Industry. How about the people who run Wizards of the Coast. Or the original creators of Dungeons and Dragons.

    How about the Monopoly guy? (j/k)
    • Wizards of the Coast... You mean the people who made so much money on Pokemon that they've been trying to make Magic: the Gathering into its copy ever since?
  • CCP? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by beheaderaswp (549877) * on Thursday February 07, 2008 @12:08PM (#22334570)
    I know this isn't really the aim of the article.... but...

    From a purely tech standpoint, the guys over at CCP (Eve Online) should be noted for the massive achievement of their database cluster. 45000 people playing in the same game universe, backed by Microsoft SQL Server (?!?!?), massive RAMSAN capacity, and all that custom Python code seems a very notable achievement. Yes I said Python! Stackless to be precise.

    From where I stand, it's that kind of cluster which will run the MMO's of tomorrow.

    Not everything is graphics and market share.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by brkello (642429)
      Meh, if you actually played the game you would know it can't handle 45k people well at all. The game is extremely simple from a client/server perspective...toggle shield on off, toggle guns on off...that's about it. The UI is miserable. If Eve is the model for the MMO of tomorrow...I won't be playing. WoW doesn't have the same capacity, but it is more complex and has less issues. I think I'd go for a model that could have 10 millions subscribers compared to one that can't even come close to handling 10
      • Re:CCP? (Score:5, Informative)

        by minginqunt (225413) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @01:03PM (#22335500) Homepage Journal
        Utter drivel.

        In almost every way, it's one of the most sophisticated MMOs available, and its technical achievements both front and back end are to be applauded.

        Now, if you didn't like it, that's fine. But I don't see why you need to badmouth it though, especially with claims that are demonstrably untrue.
        • by jeffbax (905041)
          Unless you are playing the Mac or Linux version - where the game is pretty much unplayable garbage. I guess serverside accomplishments are one thing but I think developers like Blizzard and the guys behind Vendetta Online who are doing big multiplatform, native releases are much better than what CCP does with this TransGaming bullshit. Now if only Blizzard would hop on the Linux train considering the game runs in OpenGL already.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by DrVomact (726065)

          Now, if you didn't like it, that's fine. But I don't see why you need to badmouth it though, especially with claims that are demonstrably untrue.

          Then why don't you demonstrate that his claims are untrue? He argued that Eve is "is extremely simple from a client/server perspective". And in the sense in which he intended this assertion, he's right. Eve's graphics consist of a background of stars (little tiny points of light), with an improbable amount of multicolored gases percolating about to differentiate

          • There are no animated avatars in eve--the closest thing you get to an avator is the little portrait that pops up when you click on someone's space ship)

            Actually, your in-game avatar is your ship, and most ships are fairly complicated. Several have moving parts integrated into their graphic (particularly barges and a few shuttle), and most of them include blipping lights, etc. In combat, each gun swivels around as it fires at it's target. There's also a great deal of module-related animation, including expl

        • Utter drivel.

          Umm, no.

          The GP never said that EVE wasn't sophisticated. He just said it had a bunch of issues with lag and the GUI. Which is absolutely true. The UI was clunky, annoying, and would freeze up all the time. Lag has always been an issue in popular systems, and a huge problem in large battles (which is the only fun part about EVE IM0). Just because CCP decided to make a single-shard environment doesn't mean it's a technical achievement. I'm sure Blizzard could easily come up with a server structure simi

        • by brkello (642429)
          If you can demonstrate it, please do so. I know you can't because I have played the game and many others. I have a reasonable understanding of computers considering I have a Masters in CS...so prove it to me, please.

          The game doesn't offer FPS-like controls like WoW. You can accelerate, decelerate, orbit an object, and click on modules so they are active or inactive (like weapons, shields, etc.). That is an extremely small amount of communication between the client and server compared to a clickfest lik
      • Uh, with all due respect, I'm calling "troll." You've clearly never played the game yourself if you think the shields can be toggled on and off.

        All but one section of the UI can be moved anywhere on the screen, 95% of the keyboard shortcuts can be remapped (and many have been added/made available.) You can modify the amount of information displayed on the screen from Arcade-Simplistic all the way up to "Makes a Simulator Junkie's Eyes Bleed." The amount of modules there to be turned on and off can be as man
  • Hmm (Score:3, Informative)

    by antifoidulus (807088) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @12:13PM (#22334660) Homepage Journal
    Hironobo Sakaguchi (ranked for his successful prolific outsourced development process)

    So maybe that is why FFIV on the GBA was one of the buggiest console games I have ever played, and the buggiest Square game by far. It crashed on me at least once, battle timing was totally off(some characters would get two or more turns before another would even get one), and there were random pauses/slowdowns in battle. Come on, if you are going to outsource a port(a port! They weren't even creating original code) at least have the decency to do some testing before releasing it.....
    • by EdFear (694930)
      Sakaguchi didn't have anything to do with the GBA port - he left Square Enix years ago.
      • Unfortunately, Blue Dragon shares a lot of the problems GP mentioned FF IV Advance having, so he's not exactly off the hook from that respect.

        That said: 4 days until Lost Odyssey! Tic-tic-tic...
        • by Neoprofin (871029)
          Huh? I'm closing in on the end of Blue Dragon right now (Side quest time) and I haven't had any problems with it. To be fair I don't know that I'd know the difference between a character unfairly getting too many turns and the natural timing of the game, but no issues with instability.
          • I've seen lots of slowdowns in my playtime (beat last night at last). The most obvious is during Zola's attack animations. Her shadow twitches a few times before the animation goes through.
    • by edwdig (47888)
      Come on, if you are going to outsource a port(a port! They weren't even creating original code) at least have the decency to do some testing before releasing it.....

      Final Fantasy IV originally came out on the SNES. The SNES was almost exclusively programmed in assembly, so any port of it is essentially a rewrite.
  • by ThirdPrize (938147)
    I hear she is in the "game" business ...
  • The visionary who brought us Bioshock and System Shock 2 among others. The very fact he isn't mentioned seriously undermines the legitimacy of this list in my view.

    Bioshock was and continues to be huge for gamers and its effects on the industry are still being felt and will be from years to come.
    • by krakelohm (830589)
      Being that I have never played Bioshock/System Shock 2(FPS make me yak), can you tell me what makes them so good? So far all I have picked up about them is that they are FPS with a good story. Thanks.
      • Re:Ken Levine (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Sparks23 (412116) * on Thursday February 07, 2008 @01:53PM (#22336392)
        I think what has always made Levine's games so compelling is the overall presentation and atmosphere. The System Shock games were hardly the first FPS games with RPG elements, so they were not really genre-defining in that way.

        But they manage atmosphere better than almost anything. So many FPS are just 'throw a horde of monsters/enemy-soldiers/robots/aliens at you!' The Shock games have rarely been about massive combat, but instead about atmosphere and tension. You may wander for a while without encountering anything, but hearing noises nearby... screams... and then you might stumble into a bunch of enemies fighting among themselves, only to have them turn on you.

        In System Shock, you would step into the little elevators to get between floors, and would sometimes find yourself letting out a breath you hadn't realized you were holding. (And the contrast between the horrors outside and the soft, soothing muzak of the elevator was almost like emotional whiplash at times.)

        In Bioshock, there's a beautiful (but overgrown) garden area, for instance. But you cannot really just relax and enjoy the view; there's the sound of something moving through the bushes, and shadows on the wall seem to sometimes contain a figure seen only briefly, as if out of the corner of your eye. You hear a splicer murmuring threats... but you aren't certain where they are. They're not right there, but they're clearly nearby. Watching. Waiting. Taunting...

        So while System Shock and Bioshock were not really pushing the envelope in terms of technology, fans of the series tend to feel that they push the envelope in terms of pacing, storytelling, and drawing you into the game.
    • Bioshock is a great game, but there's nothing really that new in there gameplay wise, the setting's pretty original but that's about it.

      I mean, what's new about it? The plasmids are fun, but no better than previous games that have allowed spell casting, like the Elder Scrolls series (where you can actually make your own). The tonics are interesting, but compared to the delicate balances and quirks of S.T.A,L.K.E.R.'s artefacts which have down sides and need to be balanced between tasks, rather than just h

      • by Sciros (986030)
        To be fair, though, a game doesn't have to be "revolutionary" to shape the game industry. It just has to be well-received enough that it gets other developers and publishers thinking. Halo wasn't revolutionary in terms of game design, but it certainly helped shape the game industry tremendously by giving the Xbox a foothold.
  • Everyone on /. knows this list is simply going to be John D. Carmack 25 times in a row.
    sheesh.
  • Ever notice how its getting increasingly harder to get a console game where you can do multiplayer on the same box? My bet is its driven by the profits from the on-line fees earned by forcing you to play on-line for multiplayer. Noticed how thinings are becomming more MMO oriented? Thank the income streams generated by WOW for that.
    • Ever notice how its getting increasingly harder to get a console game where you can do multiplayer on the same box?
      No, I haven't. Then again, I have a Wii =)
  • What about non-game studio execs? I'd rather see a list of game reviewers and how they shape the future. ZeroPunctuation, Penny Arcade, PvP, etc. You know, the real gamers with a voice the is heard by millions of gamers. And of course they are not tied to a magazine where all editorials are subject to review based on the ammount of paid advertising...
  • i think natural selection ( a hl1 mod) was ahead of its time when i played it 5 years ago.
    it an FPS with RTS and RPG thrown in, unfortunatly there were problems when it came down to players but the game itself was pretty good.

    whats the state of the game now?
    are there any similar games ( actual games not just mods)?
    is looking at the games a bit late? doesn't real innovation come from mods?

  • How could they overlook the original designer of SimCity, The Sims and soon to be Spore?
  • hahahahahaha
    these fucking idiots
    you cannot have a list like this and not include Fumito Ueda (TeamICO)
    he has literally pioneered the use of emotions, other than fear and anger, as the driving force to get you to play the game. not to mention being a graphic and level design genius

    this list is full of idiots maintaining the status quo
    "omg guy who invented final fantasy! omg guy from EA!"

    jesus christ
  • The people who make the gaming industry evolve are the ones who do something new, don't get me wrong, not original, new. Might sound obvious, it even might be a truism, but we must keep this in mind, for so few make anything new, from home-brew abstract puzzle hobbyist creators to big game studio designers.

    Little is truly new, people like to explore the already explored.

  • The article says it was published just two days ago... But the article on Graham Hopper (second from the bottom) talks about the creation of Pirates of the Caribbean games as some distant pie-in-the-sky opportunity he is investigating... when there have already been at least 19 games on various platforms off of that franchise (as a quick searching of gamerankings.com reveals). It's particularly curious to me because I worked on one of those games... but that paragraph sounds like it was written before Dea
  • While his games have never been huge hits or ground breaking, they almost always offer something unique and entertaining. His best known works are probably Killer7 and, much more recently, No More Heroes. He's trying new things and ideas, and perhaps he shouldn't make it to the top 25, but I think he should get at least honorable mention.

    If anyone's not tried No More Heroes and enjoys over-the-top fighting games, I highly recommend it. The overworld (think GTA) really needs a lot of work, but the actual fig
  • "Shaping gaming industry" here is sometime but not necessarily related to "creating great games". Otherwise the project involving Tim Cain and other great developers would have been a nice addition to the list.
  • Amerzone, Syberia, Syberia II, Paradise... the guy is an artistic genius. These aren't games, they're slices of (very interesting) worlds.
  • Katamari Damacy anyone?
  • Don't forget Jack Thompson!
  • I mean, I hate them as much as the next guy, but Xbox and Bungie (Jason Jones) pretty much mainstreamed the console market.

    (And now I'll go back to worshiping Sid Meyers.)

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