Following news that Sports Interactive boss Miles Jacobson has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list, the developer has told VG247 that the recognition is “important” for the games industry as a whole.
Despite being “delighted” by the award, the well-known British developer said the honour was still sinking in.
“It does feel quite strange, to be honest,” he said.
Jacobson was keen to note that Sports Interactive employs 70 people, as well as “researchers and translators around the world,” and that it’s “really cool” that the studio’s work as a whole has been further noted: SI co-founders Oliver and Paul Collyer were awarded MBEs last year.
Despite the plaudits, though, Jacobson said that, while “being treated with the same level of respect as the other entertainment industries is very important” in the UK, gaming as a medium is still in its infancy and is judged unfairly by some elements of the press.
“We’ve still got a long road ahead of us in the games industry. We’re still a really young entertainment industry, and whilst there are fantastic specialist sites out there and some of the mainstream press have started taking gaming seriously, I, like a lot of other people, don’t enjoy the fact that we, as an industry, get hit quite hard whenever there’s anything negative going on and the positive stuff tends to get ignored.
“Anything like this adds legitimacy to the industry.”
Jacobson said that his 2011 would include work on both another update of Football Manager and continued charity work, including a trip to Democratic Republic of Congo to see how a charity aided by FM sales, War Child, has been spending funds in the country.
“Very much deserved”
Oliver Collyer, paid tribute to Jacobson on the Football Manager dev’s forums following today’s announcement.
“We think this is very much deserved for all the hard work involved in not only establishing a good sense of business to a raw and young Sports Interactive all those years ago, but also evolving the studio into an equal and more professional partner with its publisher and also a responsible one, via the involvement with various charities, as well as taking away the things we don’t like doing to allow us to concentrate on coding,” he said.
“The honour is also deserved recognition for lots of other work Miles has done away from SI over the years on the BAFTA games committee, Develop advisory board and as a founding trustee of GamesAid as well as many other advisory committees.”
Other members from the games industry who have become Officers of the Order of the British Empire in the past include Lionhead boss Peter Molyneux, Eidos life-president Ian Livingstone, Codemasters’ Rod Cousens, Jez San and the Darling brothers.
Massive congrats from everyone at VG247, Miles!