The staffers at Ten Ton Hammer love the massively multiplayer online
game industry because it’s the only business market that
could provide their consumers with such extreme emotional highs and
lows. Unlike high-end movies or even lengthy novels, massively
multiplayer games take an average of four to five years to conceive,
develop, and produce, which keeps an agonized fan waiting for the same
amount of time to actually play a studios upcoming game. On top of
that, fans often get a front row seat and private screening of their
anticipated product when the game enters the beta testing phase. If a
development studio runs things the wrong way, their fan base can go
from sweet to sour in a heart beat.

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style="font-style: italic;">Age of Conan's
Gaute Godager made our top twenty list.

In general, the year of 2007 was a record-breaking example of how
things can go very, very right and very, very wrong. The industry saw a
sales record broken with Blizzard’s release of style="font-style: italic;">The Burning Crusade,
yet they also saw the dismal disappointment that was the initial
release of Vanguard:
Saga of Heroes
. NetDevil had its style="font-style: italic;">Auto Assault title
pulled from store shelves, yet they also announced the biggest
intellectual property-based game in years: style="font-style: italic;">LEGO Universe. And
those are only a couple of examples from a year filled with these types
of stories.

With that in mind, I would like to present my own list of top twenty
influencers in the MMOG marketplace. Unlike other lists of this type, I
opted to include every measure of the influence spectrum –
both the good and the bad influencers in the MMOG industry. I
won’t tell you which names belong to which group, but you can
draw your own conclusions. These names are ordered, but merely the fact
that these individuals made the last signifies that they are noteworthy
participants in the happenings of the MMOG market.

Without further ado, I present “The Top Twenty Influencers of
the MMOG Industry.”

 Jeffrey Kaplan, Lead Designer, Blizzard Activision

2.    Brad McQuaid, former CEO and Exec.
Producer, Sigil Games

3.    Jeffrey Steefel, Executive Producer,
Turbine Studios

4.    Gaute Godager, Game Director, Funcom

5.    Min Kim, Director of Game Operations,
Nexon America

6.    Hilmar Pétursson, CEO, CCP

7.    Chris McKibbin, Former Executive
Producer, Perpetual Entertainment

8.    Jeff Hickman, Senior
Producer, EA Mythic

9.    Gordon Walton, Co-Studio Director,
Bioware Austin

10.    Curt Schilling, Founder and Chariman,
38 Studios

11.    Scott Brown, President, NetDevil

12.    Paul Sage, Lead Designer, Destination

13.    John Smedley, CEO, Sony Online

14.    Jack Emmert, CCO, Cryptic Studios

15.    David Perry, CCO, Acclaim

16.    Tony Hilliam, CEO, Auran Games

17.    Joshua Hong, CEO, K2 Networks

18.    Scott Hartsman, Formerly Senior
Producer, SOE

19.    Kevin Maginn, Lead Designer, Flying
Lab Software

20.    Raph Koster, President, Areae

The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed are those of the author
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of
the Ten Ton Hammer network or staff.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016