British video game luminary Ian Livingstone has been awarded an OBE in the UK’s New Year Honours list for "services to the computer games industry". Livingstone is currently product acquisition director at SCi, following the company’s buyout of Eidos Interactive.
Jackson’s early career began in the tabletop role-playing market – where he founded Games Workshop with Steve Jackson, which became the first company to import Dungeons & Dragons to Europe, as well as originator of the popular Warhammer fantasy universe. Livingstone subsequently worked with Jackson on the highly successful Fighting Fantasy series of choose your own adventure novels.
Livingstone’s first work in the games industry was at Domark, starting in 1985 as a designer, and investing heavily in the company in 1993. He was deputy chairman until the company merged with Eidos in 1995. Livingstone was heavily involved in the merger and flotation of Eidos, and served as executive chairman until 2002. He left the company in May, but rejoined SCi in September.
Although the British honours system has its roots in medieval times, it is now used to reward personal bravery, achievement or service to the United Kingdom, with entertainers, business leaders and sports personalities commonly receiving awards alongside ordinary members of the public put forward by their community.
The video games industry has been recognized by the system before with Sir Clive Sinclair receiving a knighthood, while Argonaut founder Jez San and Populous creator Peter Molyneux have previously been awarded OBEs (Officer of the Order of the British Empire). This is the same honour awarded Livingstone, and is the fourth of five ranks for the Order of the British Empire, the top two of which entail admission into knighthood.
"I am thrilled to have been awarded an OBE," Livingstone said. "It really is a tremendous personal honor but also recognition for the computer games industry which is a great UK success story. It’s been brilliant making a career out of what is, after all, my hobby."