Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Top 10 PC Game Developers - #6 Brett Sperry


Brett Sperry adopting the Thinker's pose

Famous for: Dune II, Command & Conquer, Eye of the Beholder and Lands of Lore
Affliations: Westwood Studios

Brett Sperry co-founded Westwood Studios with Louis Castle in 1985 while they were still in their early 20s. While the Eye of the Beholder and Lands of Lore games were fun games in their own right it was in 1992 that Brett Sperry had his "Eureka!" moment with Dune II. Sperry set himself a personal challenge to incorporate "realtime dynamics with great game controls into a fast-paced wargame". He wanted to better utilise the mouse as a tool for selecting and controlling units instead of keyboard hotkeys. As a result, Dune II was a critical success but it wasn't until 1995, when Command & Conquer was released, that Westwood Studios was truly seen as the bona fide king of RTSs (okay there was always Blizzard too – but I think at this time, Westwood were way out in front).

Since 2008, Sperry has been CEO of Jet Set Games, a company that specialises in mobile games so it's unlikely we'll be seeing any revolutionary RTSs from him in the near future. However, he and Westwood Studios have left their mark on the PC gaming industry by bringing the Real-Time Strategy genre to the fore.

Up next at Number 5 – a man who has had a hand in a variety of genres, but mainly First Person Shooters.

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