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DEVELOPMENT LEGEND // MARK CERNY | BETA BIO: MARK CERNY


MARK CERNY’S DEBUT game at age 18 was Marble Madness for Atari in 1984, the fi rst release in a sparkling career that saw him travel the world working on major hits such as Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Crash Bandicoot, Jak & Daxter, Spyro the Dragon, Ratchet & Clank, Killzone 3, and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. Most recently, Cerny is celebrated for being the mastermind behind the technical architecture of Sony’s PS4 console. The device for which he was lead system architect has already sold over seven million units, just six months after release – a games industry record.


He joins an elite few to pick up the prestigious accolade of Development Legend. Previous recipients include the likes of Tim Sweeney, Mark Rein, David Perry, Peter Molyneux, David Braben, Charles Cecil, Phil Harrison and Ian Livingstone.


SOME OF HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS INCLUDE: - Programmer and designer on 1984 arcade game Marble Madness - Programmer and designer on two 1987 Sega Master System titles: Shooting Gallery and Missile Defense 3-D


- Member of the team behind 1992’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2 as programmer and development support


- Executive producer and designer on Disruptor for PlayStation, released in 1996


- Helped start the Crash Bandicoot franchise, serving as executive producer on the original


- Launched the Spyro the Dragon series as executive producer and designer for the 1998 PS1 title


- Programmer on the fi rst two Jak & Daxter games, and designer for sequel Jak II


- Designer for Ratchet & Clank and sequel Going Commando. He later served as design consultant on two more Ratchet games, Up Your Arsenal and Tools of Destruction


I have to say a wonderful thing has happened in these last 32 years – video games have not stayed in the same place. Our medium has evolved.


GAMING GREATS


I’m not talking about technology here, though the technological progress has been pretty astonishing – we’ve gone from black and white to colour to HDTV, 2D to 3D, ROMs and fl oppy disks giving way to 50GB games on Blu-ray. But that’s just bits and bytes – the real revolution is in the content. Peter Molyneux created the God game. Will Wright brought us the joy of the simulated world. RPGs, RTSs and MMOs fl ourished as genres. Games became more social.


Our medium developed to the point that the US Supreme Court ruled that video games have enough depth and meaning to qualify for freedom of speech protection as artistic endeavours.


Most recently, with games like Brothers


and The Last of Us, our chosen medium has reached the point where our creations have really begun to touch the human heart, to say something fundamental about the human experience. I believe the fulfi llment that you fi nd in your career derives from the richness of the fi eld you’re in. Looking back, my academic studies would most likely have taken me to a career in M Theory, a branch of physics so abstract that a thousand years of work has


- Design consultant for best-selling PS3 games such as launch title Resistance: Fall of Man, Naughty Dog’s Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, God of War III and Killzone 3


- Lead architect of PlayStation 4 and director of launch title Knack


not resulted in a single experimentally verifi able prediction – it’s diffi cult to believe that I would have been happy and fulfi lled there. The truth is I chose in video games, by sheer luck, an incredibly rich and rewarding fi eld to dedicate my life to.


It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to share these last 32 years with you, and I cannot wait to fi nd out what the next 32 years will bring for me, for all of us, and for our art form. Thank you again for the award, and thank you for your time tonight. ¢


Below left: Cerny accepted his award and gave this very speech at the 2014 Develop Awards in Brighton in front of hundreds of industry peers


AUGUST 2014 | 17


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