back to article Steve Jobs named most influential game guy – ever

Who has been most influential person in gaming history? The late Steve Jobs. What is the product that has most influenced game development? The iPhone. No, those aren't the opinions of mere fervid fanbois; they're the considered conclusions of 1,000 gaming-industry executives surveyed in the run-up to next week's London Games …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    But thats the dumbest fucking list I have ever seen. Sounds like it was actually a list of who we need to keep sweet....

    1. Arctic fox

      Re: "....the dumbest fucking list........."

      "No, those aren't the opinions of mere fervid fanbois; they're the considered conclusions of 1,000 gaming-industry executives".

      Not surprising its dumb it is after all the opinion of a thousand or so managerial/executive types - and the smartphone/pad that type usually owns is a......?

      1. Eddie Edwards

        More to the point

        This is basically a mobile/web gaming conference. Ask the same thing at GDC or E3, where actual games happen, and you'd get a pretty different answer. Steve Jobs has had absolutely zero influence on gaming outside the casual market, and neither has the iPhone, iPad or Mac. Mark Zuckerberg likewise. And Berners-Lee? WTF?

        The only surprise in that list is the inclusion of Valve and Nintendo - it's kinda cool those guys have heard of them from inside their web tech bubble.

        The most influential person in gaming today is clearly Dan Houser. Most people at that conference would have no idea who he is, but when his next game comes out they'll all buy it ... for their kids.

    2. Rob

      That's the caveat...

      ... they are execs so it's not like they have a clue what's going on in their industry or what's going on with their workforce.

    3. Andrew Moore
      Thumb Down


      This is just a true indication that so called 'Gaming Executives' have no awareness of the people in the industry. Hardly surprising given that the 'Executives' in any business these days are nothing more than accountants. Be thankful that they were not asked to list the top most influential games of all time, the top two replies would have been 'Excel' and 'Sage Accounts'.

  2. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Biggest load of bull-plop...


  3. exanime

    Oh please... if they made a survey today about the most influential man in the history of competitive extreme ironing Steve Jobs would be voted in...

    How is this guy more influential to video games than the inventor of the freaking WWW?!?!?!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Berners-Lee shouldn't be there either.

      What about the makers of Pong or Spacewar? Or if we're being slightly more modern, Doom?

      1. exanime


        It sounds like Jobs won this "title" because of all the developers that flocked to the iphone as a platform... in that light, don't you think all the game development made for the www is WAY WAY more influential???

        I see your point though, if they are going to have an intelligent debate on people who influenced the gaming industry they should have stuck to game developers!... why is the facebook dude there??? those apps on facebook could hardly even be called games

        1. robin thakur 1
          Thumb Up

          Woah, clearly alot of people that don't read the news here

          The last time I checked, Angry birds had been downloaded 400 million times, the majority on iOS. This makes it the most downloaded game of all time. Possibly the most played. Think about that. Nintendo might have had the democratisation of gaming in mind with the Wii, but the iPhone/iTouch/AppStore made it truly possible for the world and his dog to become game developers, taking care of the dev environment, marketing and accounting necessary to become a developer, selling in low cost/ large volumes. This has not been seen before, and whilst it has now come to threaten the conventional games industry, you need to be able to see the way it is heading in. Being elitist and saying that a flash game is not a game is a bit thick really, it's whatever people want to play.

          The time to scoff at Steve Jobs and Zuckerberg's was when facebook gaming and the App store was announced and untested. Now that both are cleaning up and are now the mainstream way that people play games (whether that's a good thing or a bad thing i'll leave upto you to decide) is not under discussion. As long as I can play FInal Fantasy 3 on my commute in the morning on my iPhone 4S I'm one very happy customer.

          1. Daniel B.

            Millions bought a Wii, eclipsing both PS3 and Xbox360... yet a lot of 'em are now gathering dust somewhere. If you want to make a point about flash games ... those have been around for far longer than Apple's iDictatorship. Newgrounds spawned that genre, even if it was free; some actually pulled off transitioning to consoles (Alien Hominid).

            If 400 million Angry Birds downloads are to count, what about err... Snake? Tetris? Brickbreaker? Mobile gaming is the gaming dev ghetto, you have to sell 'em cheap or give 'em away for free, with an ad-supported version. The only platforms where this doesn't have to hold true are the DS and PSP ones.

            If Jobs and Berners-Lee are influental game guys, we might as well put up Edison right there for providing power to those consoles as well!

          2. El Andy

            Angry Birds?

            @robin thakur 1: Sure millions of people played Angry Birds, but Billions of people have played Solitare on Windows, it pretty much eclipses any other game (even Pacman) by miles.

            It doesn't make it particularly influential though, it's pretty derivative. And even if you wanted to consider Angry Birds as the definitive example of mobile gaming, surely the creators at Roxio had a bit more to do with it than Jobs?

      2. Charles Manning

        Having Berners-Lee on the list makes even less sense than Jobs.

        Jobs at least considered games as part of the design of the iphone.

        TBL only considered the www as a way to connect up computers and deliver fairly static content (he was motivated by sharing research documents, not games).

        1. Rameses Niblick the Third (KKWWMT)

          True, but...

          Many people consider the wheel to be the single greatest advancement of the human race. That doesn't mean that the guy who invented it intended for it to be used to allow cars to do 200 mph, or machines to make a thousand paper clips a minute or whatever.

          In the same way, TBL might not have designed the www with a view to people swearing at each other on TeamSpeak, but he laid the foundation upon which the majority of modern gaming relies. Hell, without the work of TBL, we wouldn't have FarceBook and farmville, and all those iPhone apps would have to be bought from high street retailers on CD's or something.

  4. Peladon

    To the lists! Now - where's me lance?

    Sid Meir? Dave Jones? Yes. Undoubtedly. Heck, I'd have placed Ian flippin' Livingstone over Mr Mark.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'd probably put

      *David* Livingstone over Mark. FFS.

      1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

        WTF* is David Livingstone

        *W for who

        This Ian Livingstone ????

        Although GW do have some similarities to crApple, a litigatious nature and prior art for what they consider their IP.

        1. Richard IV

          Ian Livingstone - choose your own adventure

          David Livingstone - have your own adventure, I presume

  5. LarsG

    STEVE JOBS the man who......

    Invented penicillin

    Video games

    The biro

    Found world peace

    Walked on water

    Created the world

    Etc etc......

    What a sycophantic world we live in, influential in video games, my a*se.

    Even he would be looking down from wherever he is now and saying 'what a bunch of plonkers!'

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      >Even he would be looking down

      This is El Reg, get with the program. Correction for future reference.

      Even he would be looking UP from wherever he is now

    2. exanime


      ...maybe he is looking up?

  6. I Like Heckling Silver badge


    dumbest list ever


    This pandering to a dead man needs to stop now... it's getting beyond pathetic.

    1. ThomH

      Jobs isn't the only odd choice

      The list seems generally to be misguided — cutting Jobs alone wouldn't redeem it. I'd keep Newell and Miyamoto but I'm not willing to give them much credit for getting two good choices onto a list of five.

  7. Northern Fop

    Oh dear

    That's up there with Obama's Nobel Peace Prize

  8. My backside

    Can you do no better?

    Sir, can you do no better than to use a disgusting, insensitive term such as "commentards"? How would you like it being used in reference to you? It's time to stop all uses of such things as this. It has no place in decent journalism, and is very disturbing for decent folks to see and hear.

    1. alwarming

      @My backside

      Ignore the writard, man.

    2. DavidK

      U mad bro?

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: "It has no place in decent journalism,"

      You're new here, aren't you?

    4. Dr Insanity

      I'm still hoping the line was a concealed application for FotW

    5. Kane

      1/10 for getting me to reply.

      You should leave now

  9. HP Cynic

    If by shaped they meaned "ruined".

    1. AdamWill

      well, that's a bit harsh

      I'd say more 'sent back to 1991'.

      i keep seeing the games people are playing on iphones and facebook and wanting to tell them 'I was playing that! On a 286! In my mom's basement! Twenty fucking years ago!'

      But then I remember the laws on verbal harassment and just walk away quietly.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    1) Jobs should not be on the first list, 2) PCs (not Macs of course) should be at the top of the second list.

    1. Hud Dunlap
      Thumb Up

      I am a Mac guy

      I have owned one for twenty years and I use it for everything except games. That is what i bought a PC for.

      1. ThomH


        The Mac actually wasn't bad for games in 1991. It tended to get ports of a reasonable number of the PC hits but scaled up to work at then-high resolutions (as in, 640x480 sort of stuff rather than 320x200) and not always lazily. So it was like skipping ahead to SVGA. Compare and contrast the Mac and PC versions of Prince of Persia, Chuck Yeager's Air Combat, Wolfenstein 3d, etc.

        That said, even then you usually got games late or not at all. And the window during which the Mac was technologically ahead for games was incredibly brief.

  11. alwarming
    Paris Hilton

    Gaming industry vs Gaming itself.

    The bean counters from the industry are probably talking about who allowed them to make most monies. Maybe we should read how the questions were presented to them ?

    Its like asking music execs who is the most influential muscian ever... (Michael Jackson/Beatles vs Beethoven) ? If the question is framed in such a way that it seems to be asking about the influence on the music industry (not music itself), the music industry guy is probably going to say MJ or Beatles or whatever.

    Paris, who is the most influential figure in enabling large media file internet downloads.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      true, except...

      ...the correct analogy for Steve Jobs is Simon Cowel.

  12. Pete Spicer

    I understand the apparent value placed on Mark Zuckerberg for Facebook being a major portal of freemium quasi-multiplayer games. But I don't think he's influential because it wasn't down to him to make it happen, it was very much a case of relying on 'build it and they will come' - it could just as easily have backfired.

    Dave Jones, yes, I think deserves to be on the list. Sid Meier... though I'm a longtime fan of Pirates! and slightly less of Civ, probably should have been.

    I also think Berners-Lee shouldn't have been on there. Yes, he founded important principles of how the internet as we know it today works, and has received much in the way of recognition and accolades - rightly - for it. However, it wasn't him that made games utilising the internet or sharing them; if you're going down that road, Sir Clive Sinclair is probably more important than Berners-Lee in that respect with getting an affordable computer with serious games potential out to homes at the start of the 'computers in the Joe Average household' time in the early 80s.

    I'm also not sure about Jobs being top of the list. Yes, his vision enabled a whole new generation of casual gaming - but then so did Facebook in its own way and time.

    In that respect, I think I'd have to consider my top 5 people list to be Shigeru Miyamoto, Gabe Newell, Dave Jones, then it's a toss up between Peter Molyneux and Sid Meier, with Molyneux just taking the lead, in my book.

    As for platforms, I won't argue that the iPhone has been a major catalyst in casual gaming, but most influential? No. Top 5? Yes.

    For products to have shaped gaming history, I'm going to have to say the original NES, then the PSOne (or whatever you want to call it), then Steam, then the ZX Spectrum then the iPhone. The first two brought gaming into the home for different generations, Steam demonstrated that brick and mortar stores have something to fear as well as breaking away from some of the inane DRM (though not all of it, I hasten to add), the Speccie for being the formative years of some of the breed of devs over the years, and the iPhone for demonstrating the viability of casual gaming.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sinclair in the UK

      Commodore or... oh fuck, Apple in the US. But I'd give Woz more credit than Jobs for that.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the iphone responsible for vaulting casual gaming into the limelight? you sure it wasnt the Wii and the fastest selling games console in history (nintendo ds) behind the upsurge of casual gamers?

    Also, no love for Matthew Smith (man behind manic miner)? Or how about Clive Sinclair while were at it since his machine pretty much forged the UK gaming industry!!

  14. Northern Fop

    Atari 2600?

    Brought Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and *cough* ET into millions of homes, creating an entire generation of gamers practically on its own.

    1. Rob Dobs

      Dead ON

      2600 was the first widely distributed gaming system in peoples homes.

      Sure there was Pong, but no one really had it or played it much, it was a novelty.

      Odyssey (I, II and III) and Commodore both had their place on the list but it was PAC MAN in the Arcades, and Atari 2600 in the home that got the current generation of GAME MAKERS into gaming in the first place - hence the most influential.

      It got people MAKING and Playing Games - and it was where Jobs and Wozniak first worked BTW, so how is a couple of ex-Atari employees more influential than the gaming company that got them started to begin with????

      Surely leaps above the f*cktard iphone (which basically plays a lot of games similar to the hand held games out in the 80's, just all in one device) that did almost NOTHING to influence gaming! And if its just about wasting time, I am sure Win 95/XP solitaire and Minesweeper have more human logged hours than any games on the planet.

      Windows (and DirectX) as much as I could blame them for conglomerating and ruining gaming in some ways, were clearly more influential

      Toru Iwatani creator of PAC-MAN certainly got more people playing, or even knowing what a "video game" even was and was easily the most popular and most recognized video game and character in the world (Space Invaders creator would be on a short list too) Christ Pac-Man fever the Song with to the Billboard top 100 and sold over a million records - a video game hitting the song charts and selling records in MASS - THATS INFLUENCE!

      Richard Garriot surely deserves a spot on the list higher than other Networking and CEO types that never made or probably even played a decent game in their entire lives. Sid certainly deserves a spot as well.... hell the creator of Oregon Trail was more influential than on people playing games than Jobs, F*uckerberg and Tim BernersLee combined.

      Well said above, "dumbest list ever"....rubbish like this doesn't deserve repeating, other than maybe to point out how idiotic and out of touch 1000 CEO's and marketing types of Gaming companies can be about their own damn industry!!!

      1. stucs201
        Thumb Up

        re: Minesweeper

        If anything can give minesweeper a run for its money on hours wasted it'd be Alexey Pajitnov's creation and it's derivatives. For the hard of memory : Tetris.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Because in Soviet Russia

          Tetris plays YOU!!

  15. Wang N Staines

    Steve the man

    Computer games weren't invented/played until iDevices came along.

  16. Euchrid

    Linkbait publicity

    I remember when C4 did a poll to find the best album of the millennium and amongst the talking heads on the accompanying show was Charles Shaar Murray. As well as making some pertinent observations about the music, he also commented about the poll itself – that such surveys tell you far more about the people being surveyed than what they’re being asked about.

    Sums up my feelings about this survey.

    However, it will give the event some publicity as news outlets will happily reprint in the knowledge that furious readers will want to respond – so I guess it’s been successful on that level.

    On another note, the article states that one thousand industry execs were surveyed, but the story that it links to says it was *over* one thousand. Slightly pedantic I know, but nothing wrong with being accurate... then again, as this is essentially linkbait reporting, why care about standards?

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Assume that should have read "the conclusions of 1,000 Zynga executives"?

    1. Ben 42

      This was my first thought too when I saw the list.

      Also, no love for Carmack? I mean, he's only largely responsible for the FPS genre that is still kind of a big deal today.

      1. ScissorHands

        That settles it.

        I'd put Carmack at the BOTTOM.

      2. AdamWill

        obligatory Ken Silverman mention...

        ...goes right here.

    2. Tomato42

      Zynga and Popcap executives

  18. Feralmonkey
    Thumb Down


    Jobs shouldn't even be in the top 50 and the Iphone maybe the top 30 but not the top spot.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'd have put John Carmack up there somewhere, perhaps not top 5, but maybe given i'd say he's had a fairly large impact on all modern pc games (atleast, not 2d).

    Also, why the hell is the iPhone even there? This is like a crazy list, for crazy people. I've probably done more for gaming than the iPhone, that's how little it has done for "real" gaming.

    But yeah, i spose if you can do what flash was allowing people to do before but make it mobile then i suppose that could be counted as a victory... maybe... no...

    1. E Haines

      "Real" gaming? Is that like "no true Scotsman"? Gaming is gaming, and to deny the massive influence the iPhone has had is to be blindly foolish. But putting Steve Jobs at #1 is a bit much. I'd accept top 10 somewhere at most.

      1. Quantum Leaper

        Unless your game is in the top 100 apps, you don't make any money, and you only make the big bucks if it is in the top 10. Yep he done a lot for cheap gaming, Nintendo hate the iPhone, because everyone now wants games under $5 or so.....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You say that...

        But i'm not sat here holding my breath in anticipation of the next release of "angry birds".

        Skyrim next week... a "Real" game. Yes there is a difference, one pushes things along, one is just to make money in the short term.

  20. cloudgazer

    Jobs? Zuckerberg? Tim Berners Lee?

    This list suffers from the classic 'what's important right now' syndrome. Sure right now the most important growth platforms for gaming are iOS web and facebook, but those stand at the end of a long road and you can't ignore the people who built it.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Eugene Jarvis and Pete Molyneux

    To name but two of the striking omissions from that list. Just goes to show that execs never actually understand the industry they're working in.

    1. cloudgazer

      Molyneux was struck off because of the Fable series - oh and Black and White.

      1. Goat Jam

        And everything else he has done since Populous really.

        1. Yag



          Powermonger was not that bad!

          And I won't even start on Dungeon Keeper.

          But indeed, nothing really interesting since he left Bullfrog... I even wonder if he *really* was the real designers of the former games.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Did they somehow forget the influence of all the great stuff from the 80s?

    Might I humbly suggest the Atari VCS2600 as having had some small influence?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They probably

      weren't born back then.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We're all Doomed!

    John D. Carmack

    He should be up there too.

  24. senti


    Are those "1000 executives", by any chance, 16 years old?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      Much younger. Either that...or their collective IQ is 16.

    2. andreas koch

      @ senti

      yep, and they had a free ipod nano as well.

      Jobs will posthumously also win the Pulitzer price, the Nobel for physics, chemistry and peace, the Turing award, the Hugo and the Nebula, and make Number 1 in the Grand National and at Crufts.

      I just wish I hadn't read that article.

      *applies BrainBleach*

  25. Blitterbug

    Eugene Jarvis

    ...that is all

  26. Chad H.
    Thumb Down


    Look I wouldn't list jobs on a list of influential persons in gaming; but he has more of a right to be there than Berners -Lee.

    1. Jedit Silver badge


      After all, Tim Berners-Lee only inadvertently created the infrastructure used by modern gaming, whereas Saint Steve made the far more significant contribution of doing absolutely nothing in connection with games design at any point in his career.

      The closest you could say Jobs ever got to being involved with games development was marketing several different platforms that could be used for games - the Apple II and the iPhone (let's forget about the Pippin, shall we?) - all of which merely followed in someone else's footsteps rather than innovate and none of which were as popular as their predecessors.

      1. Chad H.

        No He didn't.

        Tim Berners Lee created the Web; one particular facet of said infrastructure used by modern gaming (the internt). In fact, I'd go as far as to say if the web disipeared tomorrow, there'd be little to no immediate effect on gaming. Multiplayer? Fine - still got Internet even with no web.

        The Web has little if anything to do with gaming - as great as it is.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jeff Minter?

    1. Teiwaz


      Don't know what medication Jeff Minter was on when he wrote his games, but I felt like I was on medication when I played them.

      Long live Revenge of the Mutant Camels.

    2. Yag


      He is too llama!

    3. ThomH

      Good call!

      Even now just look at all the post-Geometry Wars stuff; if that isn't a riff on the Tempest 2000 aesthetic then I don't know what is.

    4. MJI Silver badge

      I forgot Llamasoft

      Some pretty good Vic20 games

  28. SiveR
    Thumb Down

    what a load of old twaddle

    That's a clearly just a list of people who are 'cool and have made a lot of money out of exploiting people with gimmicks'

    Steve Job, gaming? give me a break, also how many Wii's are now sat gathering dust?

    What about the people making sure every day that we can still play the old games? I'd like to give special mentions to Nicola Salmoria, David Haywood, Aaron Giles and the others who work tirelessly on projects like MAME. By allowing us to access a huge back catalog of games they've had a far bigger influence on the development of current ones than anybody in those lists, look at how many current games pay homage to older ones which could otherwise have been lost to time.

    Peter Veenstra and the DOSBox Crew should be held in the same regard again for putting games which were highly influential on PC platforms into the hands of current developers many of whom are too young to have experienced them first hand. What about ScummVM, who hasn't used that? Props must go to Eugene Sandulenko there.

    History is important, lest we forget it, those who help preserve it long after it's commercial value are more valuable and influential to the industry than the current fads. The most influential people are not the most visible ones.

  29. Tom 35

    1,000 gaming-industry executives

    So it's a Bean Counters list, not a gamers list. When I look at it that way the choices are easier to understand.

  30. Naughtyhorse

    considered conclusions

    you mean nothing to do with that he coraked a couple of weeks ago.

    what a load of old bollocks

  31. JeffUK

    Fine by me, Apple invented mp3 players, mobile phones, touchscreens, home computing, laptops, video games and electricity. Why wouldnt' they be No. 1, All hail Apple!

  32. Audrey S. Thackeray

    Tomohiro Nishikado

    Space Invaders was huge, made video games something everyone knew about.

    Also Gunpei Yokoi for Game & Watch and the idea of making games mobile (what does the iPhone add to this idea? At best some aspects of the Wii's control and Steam's delivery - nothing truly innovative).

  33. Levente Szileszky

    WTF, Steve Jobs as a game guy... are you all completely and hopelessly clueless?


    Or was it one of those conferences where following the plenary session all these ugly guys go back to their hotel rooms, get high and, getting bored while waiting for the hookers, fills out a survey like this?

  34. BernieC


    When is the Pope going to make Steve a bona fida saint?

    1. andreas koch

      @ BernieC

      Why would he downgrade him?

  35. David Webb

    How big was the list, and did it have names down? Did they have to pick from 10-20 names or write their own choices down? How many of these 1,000 people actually are developing games for the iDevices?

    Gaming, god, go back to the 80's/90's and people whacking away at code on their ZX, C64, A500 etc. bringing out shareware releases or what-not They had an influence and some probably went on to work for big companies.

    EA, love it or loath it, the guy behind EA has brought out some of the most successful games in history, BF3, The Sims.

    Influencial people, Chris Sawyer (Transport Tycoon, Rollercoaster Tycoon), Peter Molyneux (Black and White, Fable), John Carmak (Doom, Wolfenstien).

    Systems? Why isn't the PC on that list? No PC = no Steam/Facebook, the PC has always been an important machine when it comes to games, one could also suggest that games have been a major influence on PC's too.

    I dunno what the world is coming to, people choosing an Apple platform over a PC platform when it comes to gaming, let's all sell our PC's, PS3's, XBoxes, Wii's, PSP's, DS's etc. and buy an iPhone, we'll get such quality gaming that no other system can compare with.

    What about JRPG's too? Megadrive/Snes, no Snes, no super mario, no Sega, no Sonic, the list is endless, no Nintendo, no Pokemon.... I'm going to stop before I pop a vein.

  36. Ray Pasley

    A steve jobs break

    peanut butter, polio vacine, initial modern speech, as well as the concept of fonts, all should be credited to the grubby lil collegiate. Getting very tiring hearing about the nasty lil prick.

  37. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Tim Berners-Lee?

    Is that because some games use the web? Sheesh! Tossers!

    What about Maxwell or Faraday, since none of these games would work without leccy?

    What about Newton, since Maxwell used calculus?

    What about Fibbonacci, or any number of nameless Arabs or Indians.

    What about the first Neanderthal who found it mildly amusing to clobber things with a big stick.

    Where do you stop?

    To answer my own question, the only reasonable place to stop is when you encounter people who haven't actually done a video game, merely promoted some facilitating technology. So Tim's out, and frankly so is St Steve of Jobs and his phone.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    No Geoff Crammond? This list is chuffing nonsense. Fact.

  39. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    David Braben & Ian Bell.

    There is but one true game - it's name shall be ELITE

    1. Medium Dave

      ^ What he said.

      Over at the Frontier Developments website, there's a whole forum of people waiting (probably in vain) for Elite 4. And 30-odd years on, Oolite's still goes strong.

      I still play Elite on my 'droid, courtesy of Marvin....

      (Yeah, I'm a sad F--ker).

    2. Stuart Elliott
      Thumb Up


      And Blue Danube in entrenched in my head for another afternoon.

  40. dave 93

    200+ million iOS devices out there

    in 4 years. That is more than all the playstation 2 & 3 added together. Add in the fact that iOS has brought thousands and thousands of new developers in to the market, and you can see where the thinking of the judges came from.

  41. Daniel Flemming

    John Carmack

    Any list of the five most influential people in videogames that doesn't list John Carmack is pretty dumb. I mean, 3D first-person shooters are KIND OF POPULAR NOW.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As voted for... the under 21's

    So No Atari VCS

    No NES

    No Sega Megasystem

    No C64

    No ZX Spectrum

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Echoes of Princess Diana here.

    Are we now going to have a certain newspaper splashing him across every front page for the next 10 years, and the parents of his lover telling whoever will listen that he was murdered and it was all a conspiracy?

    1. andreas koch

      and Jade Goody.

      ...somewhat useless, but being good at being in the papers.

    2. bobbles31

      He was probably murdered by an iOS 5.0 beta tester.

  44. John Riddoch
    Thumb Down

    As The Damned said

    "Would you be so hot if you weren't dead?" ( - this was about John Lennon, but the sentiment has to carry forward here...

    "Suddenly, you are twice the man you used to be

    Excessive fame in quick death"

    I'd echo the sentiments of John Carmack who did a lot to shape PC games in the 90s.

  45. windywoo
    Thumb Down

    Steve jobs didn't even like games.

    Ever since the mac. It was someone else who suggested gaming for the ipod touch.

  46. James O'Brien

    heh my list

    I don't see how Jobs did Fuck all for gaming. Him, the iPhone and Mark didn't do a damn thing for the industry except maybe allow devs a new medium for distrubition. Hell it could be said that Derek Smart is the greatest thing that has ever happened to gaming and BC3K is the only game you will ever want its that good.........granted in DK's defense he was the reason for the greatest flame war ever.......

  47. Briggy

    OK, so let's give the list makers the benefit of the doubt and assume their way of looking at gaming isn't the same as we hardcore, or even medium-core, players. In that case, you'd have to put Mark Zuckerberg above Jobs. Number of iPhones sold - about 108 million as of March this year (total number of users, probably not as high as that). Number of Facebook accounts - 800 million. Facebook has introduced more people to casual gaming than iPhones ever did.

    Second, Berners-Lee. Amazing chap, but he didn't invent the Internet, of course, over which many games are played. He only invented the WWW, on which many Flash games are played. And remember he fought against the introduction of an image tag to HTML as he thought it would trivialise his academic invention. Presumably he would therefore also have been against Farmville.

    Just a couple of thoughts. Pleased to see Newell on the list though, but it's meaningless without Carmack.

  48. Neonin
    Thumb Down

    Plenty of people mentioned good names missing...

    Sid Meier. Peter Molyneux. Let's not forget Richard Garriott for the long-running Ultima and one of the first really popular MMOs ever. In that line of thought, how about Richard Bartle whose co-development of MUD was one of the foundations of online gaming, as well as the team who developed and coded the DIKU codebase which saw an explosion of text-based online games, and eventually led to the text version of Everquest?

    No, let's put Steve Jobs at the top cause he allowed people to make more money and there's no single person the development of the PC can be put down to.

    1. blem wit
      Thumb Up

      Omg DIKU Imp

      OMGawd wanna have your babies.

      I thought I was the only freak still leaving that coded on the DIKU codebase.

      (I also played on the orig Smaug, but I guess that counts against me)

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    i'm sorry but it's hard to find a lot of good games that have some depth on the mobile still. how can ios be more influential than the PS1 beats me. Did those guys ever played?

    @dave 93: you can't compare mobile gaming with consoles, if you want you should perhaps compare to gameboy, gameboy advance and nds (280 million in total) plus psp (71 million according to wikipedia). plus many ios users i know don't play games at all.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jesus H. Christ

    That's quite possibly the stupidest list I've ever read. What about those first arcade machines from Atari and Taito etc with stuff like Pong, Space Invaders, Pacman, MazeWar, Battlezone, Galaxian ? All those early home pcs and consoles - Magnavox, Atari, Sinclair, Spectrum, Commodore, Bbc, Nintendo ? Games such as Elite, Dungeon Master, Doom, Kings Quest, Bards Tale ? Accessories and hardware such as the joystick and trackpad, or soundblaster cards or 3d gfx cards ? The Iphone and Jobs doesn't even come into the top 100 as far as I'm concerned - that's a list written by complete and utter morons and it's nearly made me puke in my mouth.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If we can go so far below any actual games

    to include most of the names on that list, how about William Shockley?

  52. Head
    Thumb Down


    This article is the biggest load of horse shit i have ever read.

    Shame on you Reg for perpetuating this steaming pile of journalistic wreckage!

  53. Anonymous Coward


    I would have placed loads of other people above Zuckerberg....

    Jeff Minter - for all the Llamas

    Peter Molyneaux - for Populous

    Nolan Bushnell - for the Atari VCS - bringing Pong, Pacman etc. into the home

    John Carmack for Wolfenstein 3D

    Don Bluth for Dragons Lair / Space Ace laserdisc games in the 80s

    Keiichiro Toyama for Silent Hill

    Will Wright for Sim City

    Sid Meier for well ... Microprose and all the hours lost to F-19 Stealth Fighter

    1. Medium Dave

      Seriously, Jeff Minter....

      ...That man owes me 3 years of life. Looking at the wiki page, I see he's turning into Stallman... Or possibly a camel.

  54. KrisMac

    Where the fuck is John Carmack??

    Without Doom to kick start the whole multi-player experience, none of the more recent development would mean squat...

    We would still be in a words of MUDS.. some folks arounde here will be too young to even remember what they were - and they have John Carmack and ID games to thank for not ever having to...

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Steve Jobs, Patents and the Game Industry

    I was just thinking the other day, how come the games industry is not all over patents? The sheer number of "derivitive", "look-alike" and just outright "clones" in the gaming industry is massive, and yet as opposed to other segements of software development there seems to be almost no patent activity.

    What gives?

    How can St Steve be considered influential in the games industry if he didn't manage to inflict it with his beloved patents?

  56. Phil Hare 2


    By that logic Bill Gates should be above Steve Jobs on the list, or even Fusajiro Yamauchi, who founded Nintendo in 1889.

  57. Billy Q
    Thumb Down

    What a load of old bollocks.

    Put it this way, if I fancy playing a decent computer game to while away a few hours, do I pick up my iPhone or iPad? Do I balls. I'd love a list of the sycophants who were surveyed so that I can E-Mail them one by one and tell them what a bunch of grade A plonkers they really are.

  58. Sonny Jim


    The Playstation gave us true arcade style graphics and subsequently spelled the death of the arcade as we know it. The Wii introduced console gaming to a huge untapped market.

    I think Nokia had more of a contribution to shaping gaming in the form of 'Snake' for the older handhelds than any frickin' iPhone game.

  59. geekguy

    OhMiGod Thats so wrong

    Ian Bell & David Braben

    Tōru Iwatani and co for pacman

    where are names like this !

  60. Clive Galway

    OK so the list is awful and if you know anything about games, just about the worst advert for a games conference as you could imagine, but slagging off is easy to do - how about you come up with your own?

    Here's mine - this is a more personal list - people and products that have affected my life in games:

    I don't really know many of the figures involved in games, so I will just list 3:

    1. Carmac

    Wolf / Doom / Quake etc - showing what could be done graphically on current hardware.

    2. Braben / Bell

    Elite - way ahead of it's time.

    3. Peter Molyneux

    Populous / Magic Carpet etc - Originality of game design


    1. MUD or maybe Ultima Online

    Persistent virtual multiplayer worlds

    2. HALs such as DirectX and OpenGL

    Remember what life was like before them?

    3. nVidia GeForce

    First fully DX compatible consumer GPU

    4. Wipeout (PS1) / Super Mario 64 (N64) / WinQuake (PC)

    Poster boys for fully hardware accelerated 3D action games.

    5. Nintendo Wii

    For reminding us that gameplay and accessibility trump eye candy.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      "2. HALs such as DirectX and OpenGLRemember what life was like before them?"

      *sigh* yes :) Excellent point.

      Mines the one with the OpenGL 3.2 specs in the pocket...

      Oh, and, agreed, thats list is shameful bollox.

  61. Medium Dave

    So where are...

    Bushnell and Dabney? Sid Meyer? Clive Sinclair? Allan Alcorn? Braben and Bell? American McGee? John Carmack?

    What a pile of shite.

  62. Medium Dave

    Come to think of it...

    ...Where are Lovelace, Turing and Babbage? Where are Tesla and Eddison? Where are Licklider, Bolt, Beranek and Newman who basically invented the f--king internet? Where's Louis Blériot, who invented the joystick? Where's Douglas Engelbart, who invented the mouse?

    I'll wager a crate of Speight's ale I can come up with a list of 100 people more influential to gaming than *anyone* on this half-arsed list. Any takers, El Reg?

  63. LastByte

    The Eagle has landed

    Jim (Lunar Lander) Storer ?

  64. FozzyBear


    I'm adding my mouth full of bile to the growing pool already spewed over this article

    Fuckerberg... I mean Zuckerberg what meaningful strides did he make in the gaming industry. Fucking none. Same as Jobs

    This does, however, open a window into the minds of those gaming executives apparently running the gaming industry. Fuckin' frightening peeking into that window if you ask me.

  65. -tim

    This is what happens when you ask a bunch of execs about their business. It shows just how little of a clue many of them have.

  66. json

    For this guy I agree with the iphone to be on top.

    that's because the last time I played a full game on any device was in college some 18 years ago. I dont think the lame games in my ex-BB counts as a full game so yes I think its with the iphone 4 that i've played my first game since.. oh angry birds of course.

    1. bobbles31

      So somebodies influence over an entire industry should be based on what device you play games on....interesting way to look at life.

  67. Twyford

    Surely something is missing

    Not only am I amazed at Steve Jobs' inclusion on the first list, but why the hell isn't the Game Boy on the second list! Yeah sure there were portable games machines before (I loved my Nintendo Game & Watch collection), but the Game Boy made portable gaming popular with the mobile masses. To have the iPhone top the list of influential devices and the Game Boy nowhere to be seen is an absolute kick in the teeth to Nintendo and shows not only what a short sighted back slapping view these guys were taking, but also makes it look like they're trying to all keep Apple sweet.

  68. Killraven


    That's like lumping Rock-Paper-Scissors in with Monopoly and Mahjong.

  69. Danny 5


    and who's the boob responsible for this list?

    you can attribute Jobs with a lot of things, but not his influence on gaming.

    the product(s) the most influenced the gaming industry are quite clearly the PSone and in a lesser sense the SNES.

    most influential in games? Zelda producers, Final Fantasy producers (for the RPG/Adventure fans). I suppose you can't really rule out EA either, if you look at what they produced in the early days (EA has been a LOT more influential then Jobs)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ Danny 5

      "and who's the boob responsible for this list?"

      The survey was carried out by Intent Media. For those who don’t know, Intent Media is the:

      1) Organiser for the London Games Conference, an event that the survey was plugging.

      2) Publisher of MCV, which is the publication that first ran the story.

      Other than “over 1,000 games executives” being surveyed, based on the MCV presspuff that El Reg has regurgitated, we don’t know anything. We don’t know many people responded or what form the survey took. For example, how many choices did people have, could they pick their own?

      This morning, there’s been more comments about this non-story than any other article. Which boobs are responsible for that? (Yes, I know, I’ve responded and am guilty!)

      1. Danny 5

        how apt!

        guilty or not, that reply did put a smile on my face!

        thanks for setting this boob straight :D

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          re: how apt!

          Nice of you to say - and I should have mentioned that your suggested nominations were sound (but try telling the kids about the SNES ;) )

  70. Stretch

    now THIS is why the games industry is dead

  71. Simon Wilson 1
    Thumb Down

    Pure Nonsense

    Everyone is on the Steve Jobs bandwagon. So what happens to day some editor thinks how can we talk about Steve Jobs. Lets see whats been covered, Itunes, Ipad, Iphone, Macs, his life. I cant find anything more to talk about.....what thats on my floor Reghardware Editor as looks down in Reghardwares Kitchen its the office cats litter tray. Whats that brown stuff, maybe I mold it into a story, at pinch of Rubort Murdoch and touch of Rebecca Brookes. And there we have something doesnt resemble an ounce of truth. Steve Jobs isnt in top ten or top twenty when concerns the gaming enviroment. This is the worst piece of writing Reghardware , theregister have ever put together. I suggest you go back to school before write anything and get your facts right.

  72. Simon Buttress

    Fawning sycophants

    That list is pure jokes. A lot of self-congratulatory fellatio going on there.

  73. Peter 48

    what about bill?

    by the same logic that place jobs at the top they should have placed bill gates above that for creating microsoft which went on to provide the PC as a gaming platform and develop the xbox brand & kinect. Which would be just as idiotic as naming saint steve as the most influential man.

  74. Andy Fletcher

    No way!

    I've never heard of such a brutal and shocking injustice I cared so little about.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a load of Crap

    Wake me up when the Jesusphone and Jesusfondle slab can play BF3 at 1080p.... and then I still won't buy and shit apple products...

  76. Aldous

    gaming industry execs?

    who did they interview? CxO of Bean Counting, HR and Marketing ?

  77. Matthew 17

    Jobs didn't like games

    He never saw the market for them as was surprised when people started writing games for his iDevices, was only when they proved to be popular that he changed his mind.

    Given that Apple seem to be turning their backs on the Pro markets in favour of selling gadgets they better ensure that their devices offer plenty in the way of games.

  78. Jordan 6

    Short Term Memory

    Sounds like there is a need for the effects of games on long-term memory loss. To have Jobs & Zuck on the list is clearly idiotic. They may have brought games to the masses but they haven't really played a part in the core evolution.

  79. bobbles31

    Goes to show the value of execs

    Not even a hint towards David Braben and Ian Bell (Which I can kind of understand because it's not like we use Vector Graphics models much).

    I suppose that there is at least some consolation in the inclusion of Miyamoto, even if they show a complete lack of understanding as to the level of his influence.


    Mine's the one with a copy of The Dark Wheel in the pocket.

  80. Aggellos

    steve jobs! who the fuck is he ?

  81. blem wit

    The left 'socialized' this title

    iPhone popularizing games to non-gamers? Sure, I guess so. But all I have to say on the subject is:

    My 75 yo aunt plays WoW.

    And it's one of the best healers I have raid with to boot!

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No David Braben? **** you.

    Clearly a list written by people who don't play actual game consoles and/or have only played video games in the past 5 years (mostly limited to Angry Birds...). "What do we play games on? iPhone! How do we play them? Internet!" etc....

  83. Treggy

    And the prize for the shortest memory in gaming history goes to....

    No Carmack or Romero? Poor show....

  84. Alistair MacRae

    Going on that logic

    Jack Kilby/Robert Noyce invertors of the integrated circuit are the most influential people in video games.

  85. m00seman645

    This is the most fucking ridiculous story I've ever read. I know this is just due to the fact that Jobs died, but to put him above the others in the list is insanity.

  86. chiller

    iGames do have a 'dump time' appeal to be fair.

  87. NogginTheNog

    GAME guy

    See I read that headline as GAY guy at first!

  88. andy gibson

    My list...

    Mr Atari2600 creator

    Matthew Smith

    That is all

  89. Adam T

    Sums up the games industry's top brass.

    Fill a room with a thousand executives and this is what you get.

    They all love Steve Jobs because he gave them In-App purchases. You ask what's the greatest thing to happen to games,ever, and the reply is fucking "Smurf-berries".

  90. mraak

    How about?

    How about some F**** Macromedia Flash?? Huh idiots? Wasn't it Flash who brought casual gaming to the masses and even influenced the large majority of games on iStuff??

  91. MJI Silver badge

    No Carmack

    At least Newell was there.

  92. sisk

    You have GOT to be kidding me. The games on iOS are pretty much the same sorts of games that have been on NewGrounds for 10 years now, only with a touchscreen instead of a mouse. What fantasy world are these people living in?

  93. DJO Silver badge

    Wot, no Elite

    David Braben - nothing else to say.

  94. Fatty Eglon

    Jim Royle says ...

    '..that list .... the crease of my batty!!'

  95. Scott 62
    Thumb Up

    gaben deserves his place on the list, as does shigsy (just typing that reminds me of Digitiser back in't day!), the rest are shit, tbh

    To round off my list I'd put the Infinity Ward guys, Peter Molyneux and Carmack.

    Although admittedly the inclusion of Molynuex is 99% nostalgia goggles, I'm not sure how well his games stand up against the test of time...although I suspect Dungeon Keeper will still be as awesome as it was when I was 15.

  96. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Will Crowther

    I see others have mentioned the Atari VCS / 2600 (which should probably have the first spot on the "devices" list; the iPhone has no right to be there at all), but I couldn't find any mention of Crowther. He wrote the original Colossal Cave Adventure, the progenitor of text-based games like the Zork family, and an ancestor of the many graphics-and-text games like the ones built on the SCUMM engine.

    Crowther definitely bumps Zuckhead off the "people" list. The latter did nothing for video gaming anyway; he just opened another platform, and the game authors came. It's not like that was the fulfillment of some brilliant secret Zuckly strategy. But then I'd kick the astronomically-overrated Jobs off two, which leaves two open slots.

    The Miller brothers of Myst fame also at least tie with some of the less-inspired choices on that list, so we could slot them in at #5; but then I'm sure I'm forgetting many other worthies.

  97. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I Heard..

    Steve Jobs shortened WWII by 2 years and saved 20 million lives. He defeated the Germans one day while out in his sailing boat.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Couldn't have been the Russians at all. No way.

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