Brothers Richard and David Darling, founders of UK based publisher and developer Codemasters, have been awarded OBEs (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, for “services to the computer games industry”.
The honors are traditionally awarded to both British citizens, as well as celebrities, sportspersons and business leaders as a celebration of the Queen’s Official Birthday – or as part of a special New Year’s Honours list.
An increasing number of video games industry representatives have been recipients of an OBE (the second lowest of five ranks of Order of the British Empire) in the past, including Argonaut founder Jez San, Lionhead Studios’ Peter Molyneux, Ian Livingstone, ex-SCi head Jane Cavanagh and Electronic Arts executive David Gardner.
In the UK, the Darling brothers are well known as the archetypal “bedroom programmers”, having begun their career creating budget titles for 8-bit computers such as the Sinclair Spectrum and Commodore 64.
Codemasters was formed in 1986, with initial titles such as BMX Simulator
followed by 16-bit hits Micro Machines
and Pete Sampras Tennis
and eventually current franchises such as Colin McRae Rally: DiRT
and Race Driver
The brothers sold their remaining stakes
in the company in 2007, following a public flotation and the exit of both founders from leading positions at the publisher. Despite rumors that they would found a new development company, neither has yet re-emerged in the industry.
"For over 20 years David and Richard led Codemasters as it became one of the video game industry's great British success stories," said current Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens to the BBC
. "Their drive and passion for creating the best in interactive entertainment will always be part of the industry's heritage and this recognition is well deserved."