Peter Molyneux, the founder of game developer Bullfrog Software and creator of games including Populous, Fable, Black & White and Dungeon Keeper has been awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in the UK's New Years Honors list.
Molyneux, who now heads up Guildford, England-based Lionhead Software, commented to BBC News Online: "It's come completely out of the blue. I never would have guessed that I'd have that kind of honour."
The honors are "awarded on merit, for exceptional achievement or service", and chosen by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Order of the British Empire was originally created by King George V in 1917 to award civilians helping the war effort who couldn't be given military medals.
Other OBEs were simultaneously awarded to prominent British figures including golfer Colin Montgomerie, Olympic yachtsman Ben Ainslie, and John Shepherd-Barron, inventor of the ATM, alongside other honors including MBEs, CBEs, and knighthoods.