Shigeru Miyamoto: the developers' developer

Father of Mario is the games developers' developer according to recent poll
Father of Mario is the games developers' developer according to recent poll

Shigeru Miyamoto is not only a legend amongst the Nintendo faithful, with a new poll of over 9,000 games developers showing that he is also the developers' development hero.

In the survey, commissioned by the organisers of next month's Develop Conference (which runs from 14-16 July in sunny Brighton) Miyamoto tops the game development hero charts, followed by id Software's John Cormack, Will Wright and a number of other development luminaries.

Innovative AND mass market

"It's no surprise that Miyamoto-san is the development hero of developers – over the last 30 years he has created games that have not only driven the evolution of the games industry but also changed people's lives," says Andy Lane, Managing Director of Develop organiser Tandem Events.

"He has mastered the art of developing titles that are innovative but never at the cost of gameplay: games that are ground breaking, yet still mass market," Lane adds.

With no further ado, here is the top 10:

1. Shigeru Miyamoto - often referred to as 'the father of modern video games' for his role in creating legendary games franchises Mario, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, Pikmin and F-Zero and titles such as Nintendogs and Wii Music

2. John Cormack – co-founder of id Software and lead programmer on Doom and Quake

3. Will Wright - co-founder of Maxis and brains behind SimCity and The Sims franchise and, more recently, Spore. He now runs entertainment think tank Stupid Fun Club

4. Dave Jones - founder of Realtime Worlds (Crackdown, All Points Bulletin) and co-founder of Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design), Jones created major game series Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto

5. Sid Meier – founder of MicroProse and developer of Civilization. Second person to be inducted in the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences' Hall of Fame behind Shigeru Miyamoto

6. Peter Molyneux, OBE - creator of God games Dungeon Keeper, Populous and Black & White, as well as Theme Park, Fable and Fable 2

7. David Braben - Brit programmer and founder of Frontier, Braben is best known for co-writing the hugely popular Elite. The studio's work on The Outsider promises to deliver yet another ground-breaking title and a number of gameplay firsts

8. Masaya Matsuura – famed for pushing the frontiers of computer music, Masaya took the games industry by storm with the release of PaRappa The Rapper, winning notable awards and changing the landscape of gaming forever

9. Michael Morhaime – president and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, the legendary creator of Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo series and the world's biggest MMORPG World of Warcraft

10. Jonathan Blow – developer of award-winning title Braid

For more on Develop check out the conference website at

Adam Hartley