Next Generation presents the Hot 100 Game Developers of the year. See which developers are lighting up the world of games in 2008.
The top ten are, in my opinion fairly chosen, as they all took part in some major project, and with their ideas made games the way they are today.
Top 10 games developers of 2007
10. Casey Hudson
Project Director, Mass Effect
Hudson’s eye for detail and love for the genre has made him a leader in western console RPG design. His work on BioWare’s biggest projects has allowed the company to successfully marry the complexity of the computer RPG with simpler, more intuitive interface of the console. The results show in the astonishingly well-realized worlds of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect, and the sales of these games show that gamers are more than willing to wrap themselves in Hudson’s deep stories.
9. Dan Houser
The world has now been waiting over three years for a new entry in the Grand Theft Auto series proper. That release now looms large, and the massive fanbase’s eager anticipation is proof that Houser continues to be influential; his studio, after all, is probably the most culturally influential gaming house in the world. That this reputation has held for the better part of the decade says a lot about Houser and his team’s resilience in the face of pop culture’s fickle public.
8. Yoshiaki Koizumi
Director, Super Mario Galaxy
Koizumi is not Nintendo’s most famous face. Rather, he is the man behind the man behind Nintendo’s mascot Mario; but with Shigeru Miyamoto devoting his time to so many projects, Koizumi is the one who gets to go in elbows-deep with the Mario games. Last year, he led his Nintendo EAD team to the release of Super Mario Galaxy, a game which many (including ourselves at Next Generation) proclaimed the best game of the year.
7. Hideo Kojima
The master of Metal Gear Solid is content to make us wait for as long as it takes to make Guns of the Patriots a masterpiece. But what he has released of the game over the last year—both in terms of video footage and played demonstrations—show that his last Metal Gear could very well be the killer app the PlayStation 3 needs. If it is, it will be the third time Kojima has turned his tactical espionage action series into a Sony system mover, and a fitting end to his tenure on the franchise.
6. Will Wright
The annals of Wright’s legendary career have been well documented throughout the years, and the success of The Sims certainly does not need to be recapped here. What does need to be mentioned is why the man continues to find himself near the top of this list despite not releasing a commercial product in some time. But even that is rather obvious; the upcoming Spore is so ambitious, so exciting and has so much potential to change so much about the medium that as long as the project continues Wright can expect all of us to eagerly wait for it. Besides, the lack of a release date after years of development show he’s one of the only men in the world that EA is willing to wait for. That in and of itself says a lot.
5. Greg LoPiccolo
VP of Product Development
LoPiccolo and the rest of the team at Harmonix put together a great game last year in Rock Band. But they also put together a new platform in Rock Band, an entertainment service with new music constantly being released to grow the game’s accessibility and user base. The company also released a paradigm shift in Rock Band, the $170 game that nevertheless sold out across stores nationwide. That’s a lot of things for one product to do, but LoPiccolo and the rest of the guys and gals at Harmonix seem pretty adept at astonishing.
4. Rob Pardo
Vice President of Game Design
Time Magazine has named Pardo one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and for good reason—as the lead designer behind World of Warcraft and its ubiquitous expansion The Burning Crusade, he has wielded ultimate power over the free time of millions of MMO gamers worldwide. But his addictive designs have been present in every Blizzard game since StarCraft, and now that he’s the Vice President of Game Design his vision will also drive the development of the hugely anticipated StarCraft II, as well as the company’s mysterious new MMO project.
3. Jason West
Co-Studio Head/Project Lead, Call of Duty 4
West’s years of toil on Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare gave him the respect of his peers. His game’s successful distancing of Call of Duty from World War II gave an already strong franchise even more depth. And when the game came out at the end of 2007, it sold by the millions, deepening Activision Blizzard’s already deep pockets. Call of Duty is a property that is heavily relied upon by the industry’s biggest publisher; that property in turn will continue to heavily rely on West.
2. Harold Ryan
2007 was a banner year for Bungie. Halo 3 was released, and found an unsurprising but still incredible reception waiting for it. Then Bungie declared that it was independent once again, and would be working on building exciting new properties that had little to do with Master Chief. Ryan headed the studio throughout this dramatic moment in Bungie’s history. Now Bungie is probably gaming’s most coveted free agent, its roads open and possibilities endless. Ryan continues to lead the studio.
1. Ken Levine
Lead Designer, BioShock
Yes, 2007 was a year of staggering achievement and many excellent games. But even in such illustrious company the branchild of Ken Levine, BioShock, managed to stand out. Levine’s Rapture was a setting unlike anything ever created, and even as millions played it for its inventive shooting mechanics it spoke complex ideas to all who cared to listen. Theories on philosophy and dogma were in there, as were statements on the nature of choice and the medium of games itself. Levine ambitiously took steps with BioShock that games needed to take; the entire field is better for this game’s success. source: http://www.next-gen.biz/