The concept of a Hall of Fame is one that has appeared in many industries but has been sadly lacking here in the UK when it comes to the games that we love to play. The establishment of the UK Games Expo Hall of Fame at the 2013 UK Games Expo looked to right that wrong and show the world the level of influence that various people have had on the gaming world scene.
The Hall of Fame looks to showcase some of the best and brightest, to honour those who have had a major influence on our hobby and have led the way in our industry.
This inaugural intake of five was selected by a panel. Of course, making the decision on who our first set of inductees was incredibly difficult. We decided that we shouldn’t only look at people when considering potential candidates; companies and groups were also entirely viable as long as we could prove that they were influential. Our initial shortlist of ten was whittled down to this selection of five that we presented at UK Games Expo in 2013: the first ever members of the UK Games Hall of Fame.
Annually we will induct more individuals, companies or products. We salute their influence and thank them for the hard work they’ve done and in some cases continue to do.
2018 Inductee Martin Wallace
Martin Wallace is an award winning board game designer with over seventy titles to his name, including ‘Age of Steam’, ‘Runebound’, ‘Discworld Ankh-Morpork’ and ‘Brass’. Many of his titles were published through Warfrog Games, which later became Treefrog Games. Martin has now moved away from publishing designs and focuses entirely on designing games to license to other companies. Born in Hampshire in 1962, he moved to Salford in 1969. He began playing wargames while at school and one of his first jobs was working as a sales assistant for Games Workshop in Manchester. Later he trained as a teacher. In 2008 he became a full-time game designer. In 2013 he emigrated to New Zealand, then moved to Australia in 2017. He now resides near Brisbane. There are a number of new games out this year from Martin, including a new edition of ‘Brass’, a multi-player arena combat game called ‘Wildlands’ from Osprey, and an alternative history game, ‘AuZtralia’. A new version of his game ‘London’ has been released this year by Osprey Games and can be seen at their stand.
2016 Inductee Daniel Steel
We believe that Dan has quietly and without fuss had a massive impact via his company Esdevium Games on the growth of the Hobby Games Industry over 30 years in the UK. He established and grew Esdevium Games from a small one man business to one of the largest Games Distributors in the world. During this time Esdevium has developed organised play, provided demo teams around the UK, popped up in shops and cons and even book stores and garden centres. Their role as industry leader in supplying of Hobby Games to the retail sector has provided the support and the games to fuel the growth we see today. In 2010 Esdevium became part of the Asmodee Group of Companies, a group that now includes Fantasy Flight Games and Catan to name but a few. Daniel continues in the industry heading up European distributors as part of Asmodee. For this long term and ongoing commitment to the Hobby we would like to induct Daniel in to the Hall of Fame.
2014 Inductees Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson
One of the founding fathers of the UK games industry, he cofounded iconic games company Games Workshop in 1975, launching Dungeons & Dragons in Europe and the Games Workshop retail chain. He designed many board games including Boom Town and Legend of Zagor. He co-authored The Warlock of Firetop Mountain in 1982, the first Fighting Fantasy gamebook in the series which has sold over 17 million copies to date in 30 languages. He designed Eureka, the first computer game published by Domark in 1984. He joined the board in 1992 as a major investor, overseeing a merger that created Eidos plc in 1995 where he served as Executive Chairman until 2002. At Eidos he launched major franchises including Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
He co-authored the Next Gen review published by NESTA in 2011, recommending changes in ICT education policy, spearheading a campaign that led to the introduction of the new Computing curriculum in Schools. In the Wired 100 list for 2012, he was ranked the 16th most influential person in the UK’s digital economy. He is Founder of The Livingstone Foundation, Chairman of Playdemic Ltd, Chairman of Midoki Ltd, Chairman of PlayMob Ltd, Chair of Skillset’s
Video Games Council, Chair Next Gen Skills Committee, Vice Chair of UKIE, Member of the Creative Industries Council, Trustee of GamesAid and an Adviser to the British Council.
He was appointed OBE in 2006, and received a BAFTA Special Award, a British Inspiration Award, the Develop Legend Award, an Honorary Doctorate of Arts by Bournemouth University and an Honorary Doctorate of Technology by Abertay University, Dundee for his contribution to the UK computer and video
games industry. He was appointed CBE in the 2013 New Year Honours list.
In early 1975, Steve Jackson co-founded the company Games Workshop with school friends John Peake and Ian Livingstone. They started publishing a monthly newsletter, Owl and Weasel, which was largely written by Jackson, and sent copies of the first issue to subscribers of the recently defunct fanzine Albion; Brian Blume received one of these copies, and sent them a copy of the new game Dungeons & Dragons in return. Jackson and Livingstone felt
that this game was more imaginative than anything being produced in the UK at the time, and so worked out an arrangement with Blume for an exclusive deal to sell D&D in Europe. In late 1975, Jackson and Livingstone organised their first convention, the first Games Day. While selling game products directly
out of their flat, their landlord kicked them out in the summer of 1976 after people kept showing up there looking for an actual store. At a Games Day convention in 1980 Jackson and Livingstone met Geraldine Cooke, an editor at Penguin Books. They persuaded her to consider publication of a book about the role-playing hobby. This was originally intended to be an introductory guide, but the idea of an interactive gamebook seemed more appealing.
After several months Cooke decided that this was viable and commissioned Jackson and Livingstone to develop it. In 1980, Jackson and Livingstone began
to develop the concept of the Fighting Fantasy gamebook series, the first volume of which (The Warlock of Firetop Mountain) was published in 1982 by Puffin Books Jackson and Livingstone sold off their stake in Games Workshop in 1991.
Jackson now works at Lionhead Studios, which he founded with Peter Molyneux. He is also an honorary professor at Brunel University in London, teaching the Digital Games Theory and Design MA.
David Parlett’s writings on card and board games are essential reading for any scholar of the industry. No other writer has quite the grasp of how the mechanisms of play works managing to express them in a way that all gamers can understand. His work, though deep, is accessible and offers incredible insight no matter what your level of interest. David’s most famous books are undoubtedly the Oxford Guide to Card Games and the Oxford History of Board Games, both of which should be required reading for any aspiring designer. His addition to the Hall of Fame is only cemented by the fact he is also responsible for the multimillion selling Hare and Tortoise, winner of the first ever Spiel des Jahres in 1979 and still in print today.
Since founding Hartland Trefoil in 1971 to say that Francis Tresham has been a major part of the UK games industry is something of an understatement. Not only was he responsible for the initial publication of the legendary boardgame Civilisation, he also single-handedly developed the 18XX genre by bringing 1829 to the tables of wannabe railroad bosses around the globe. He is also the man who pioneered the use of the first ever technology tree in a boardgame. It’s safe to say that without him the landscape of our industry would look very different today. Following the sale of Hartland Trefoil in the late 1990s, he went on to run Tresham Games and was still designing, developing and releasing 18XX titles into the last decade. Francis died in October 2020. We were honoured to have Francis as part of the first UK Games Hall of Fame intake.
Gibsons Games is the oldest board games manufacturer and publisher in the UK and is well deserving of a place in the inaugural Hall of Fame thanks not only to their longevity but also the wide range of titles that they have brought to gamers over the generations.
With roots stretching back to 1903 the company has grown over the past century and more, surviving even the destruction of their premises during the Blitz of the Second World War.
With legendary releases such as 221b Baker Street and Diplomacy on their roll of honour, it’s no surprise that the name of Gibson has become synonymous with the gaming scene.
While many people may not immediately be aware of the influence the late Don Turnbull has had on the hobby, even the most cursory look over his credentials is guaranteed to impress. Whether it’s almost single-handedly kicking off the gaming ‘zine scene with his Diplomacy focused magazine Albion or being one of the founding contributors to Games Workshop’s White Dwarf, his reach can still be seen to this day.
Perhaps his most notable achievement was the establishment of the UK branch of TSR under the guidance of Gary Gygax, which bought countless modules still beloved by roleplayers today. On this tenth anniversary of his death, we are delighted to induct Don into the Hall of Fame.
Wargamers around the world should be well aware of the advancements that Bruce Quarrie brought to their hobby. While he is most famous for his work as a historian, particularly focusing on the Second World War, his time spent as editor of Airfix magazine in the early 1970s saw the start of a wave of wargaming that is still spreading today.
Napoleonic Wargaming, published in 1974, was one of the first books to establish a ruleset for hobbyists around the world and is still regarded as a benchmark to this day. Despite his death in 2004, his influence is still felt to this day with his work carried on by players worldwide.