There are a small number of geniuses who have changed the world of video game development for the better. It doesn’t take big companies and many millions of dollars, and that’s what makes it so exciting. The ideas of a small few is all it takes to move this industry to a new level, because that’s all it has taken to transform this sector from a niche hobby played in arcades, to one of the biggest industries in the world.
You may not recognize the name and this guy didn't make much money from his creation, but he changed the way that we experience puzzle games and he opened up a whole new world for developers like myself. That’s because he created Tetris, which is one of the most important games in the history of the industry.
He was creating in a different age, but it’s continued success shows that as long as you have a solid idea and good programming, then simplicity still rules.
Ralph Bear isn’t known for big games, but he is known for bringing these games into our homes. The home console wasn’t thought of prior to Bear and if not for his work then we probably wouldn’t have Xbox’s and Playstation today. We may still be going to arcades and other venus to play them.
The Father of Strategy Games is best known for Civilization, which carries his name. However, he was involved with so many more titles. Meier was the genius behind the Sims, which is one of the most popular PC titles of all time. He also had a hand in shaping tycoon games, development games and flying games.
Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin
These days games are as big as films, if not bigger. They are considered to be blockbusters, they use in-depth scripts and they hire big actors. This has been ongoing for a number of years and even back to the first playstation you had games that tried to go big, even though most of them failed.
What makes these two guys so special is that they made it work and they made everyone rethink how they saw video games.
They are the founders of NaughtyDog, one of the most exciting development companies out there right now. They are the team behind the multi-award winning The Last of Us, which was a true blockbuster in every sense of the word. They also created the Uncharted series.
Prior to these two mammoth, blockbuster titles, they got their start creating Crash Bandicoot, which is somewhat different, but it is those big, grand adventure games that have set the tone for what they are bets known for and have changed this industry for the better.
There have been a lot of issues with the film industry because of tax avoidance schemes. In many countries there is a scheme that allows for tax exemptions for those who invest in the film industry. This leads to big investors sinking money into junk just to avoid paying tax.
In fact, there are many companies set up just to take that money and make those films. They get made, many of the actors get paid and think hey are working on a genuine film, but nothing comes of it and nothing was ever going to come from it. Thankfully, there is not currently anything like that in the gaming industry and it wouldn’t work in the same way if there was.
There are certainly a lot of bad games out there that make you think they were created as a joke, but they can’t quite use that excuse, because they weren’t. These tax avoidance schemes, which border on white collar crimes, are not damaging investments and that’s allowing for all of this real money to come in and change the industry for the better.
Many investors are small-time and they invest because they love games. On angel.co there are over 21,000 investors in games, and then you have the millionaire businessman and businesswoman who made their money elsewhere but are investing because of a passion for games.
They have helped to create and sponsor big eSport events; they have helped to create and launch games; and they also help to get indie companies off the ground. In time, the role that these investors play will become more prominent as more money is needed for smaller companies to grow. But right now, they are more or less investing in the shadows.