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To everyone’s surprise, Naughty Dog veteran Amy Hennig left the company this week after ten years. Whatever the circumstances of her departure may be, one thing is certain: She was an important creative force at the studio, and the upcoming Uncharted game on PlayStation 4 will be following her sterling example.
Hennig is undoubtedly one of the most influential creators in the games industry, and that got us to thinking about others that have made a similar impact. So that’s what this list is about — highlighting just a few of the great people that have put their personal stamp on some of the franchises or studios that we’ve loved over the years.
There are plenty of greats that we had to leave off this list, only because we’re limited to five entries. Feel free to tell us your favorites in the comments below.
How else could we begin? Shigeru Miyamoto isn’t the first video game designer, but he’s certainly the most famous and beloved of them all. Many of the Nintendo games that you’ve loved over the last 30 years? Your safest bet is to thank Miyamoto for it.
It actually started in arcades with the first Donkey Kong game, which then led to Super Mario Bros. Then he turned around and created The Legend of Zelda. Star Fox and F-Zero on Super Nintendo padded out the companies lineup in the 16-bit era. Pikmin was a cool, weird game that caught us all off-guard; Wii Sports is the best-selling game of all-time, just for good measure.
Miyamoto’s work has endured unlike any other, and even if you’ve somehow never played any of his games, they’ve directly influenced many that you definitely have. His love of life is no secret, and it’s easy to see in just about every game he’s produced.