David Gardner, Electronic Arts' executive vice president of international studios, has been awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire), an honor previously given to industry luminaries like Peter Molyneux, SCi's Ian Livingstone, and Argonaut founder Jez San.
The honor recognizes Gardner's continuing support of the UK as a hub for creative talent and video game development. As a naturalized British citizen, Gardner is seen as an instrumental force in establishing EA's UK presence in 1987 and helping to grow European revenue to $1 billion today.
The OBE honors, normally awarded twice each year, are "awarded on merit, for exceptional achievement or service," and are 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.
“It is of enormous value to the UK to have such an influential and respected senior level executive speak so openly and regularly about the strengths of the UK’s creative industry,” said Martin Uden, the British Consul General in San Francisco. “David is always quick to highlight the UK as an attractive location for first class development and creative talent.”