Ian Livingstone has had a remarkable career spanning books, tabletop games, videogames and business. Both a creator and an industry leader, with an unquenchable thirst for new projects, among his more famous productions are the Fighting Fantasy game books and co-founding Games Workshop, while he also played a pivotal role in the story of Eidos and, latterly, led the Next Gen Skills Review to improve digital and computer education in the UK.
Now, funny thing about the UK: You may have heard of our royal family. The old folk love ’em and so do the tourists, and every new year they pick a list of the UK’s great-and-good and give them gongs of various degrees of poshness. Ian Livingstone had already been awarded an OBE in 2006 and a CBE in 2013, but has now been awarded a knighthood. Quite funny to think of him being a proper knight and, as these gongs go, knighthoods are for ‘exceptional achievement’ and about as posh as it gets.
“I am delighted and very proud to have been awarded a Knighthood,” Livingstone told GamesIndustry.biz. “It is fantastic recognition for the games industry and the brilliant people who are part of it. I have enjoyed every minute of my 47 years in the industry, and long may it continue.”
The UK is a very cool place, and so in normal times Ian Livingstone will become a knight by being touched with a sword by the queen, very slowly and carefully, on both shoulders. Not kidding about this part. Wonder if she’s ever tempted to make headlines?
Once he’s been touched by the royal sword, plain old Ian Livingstone becomes Sir Ian Livingston. One caveat is that, hey, it’s covid times—so when the usual in-person ceremony will go ahead is unclear, with the official government line being that investitures have been postponed since April 2020.
Luminaries of the UK industry including David Braben paid tribute.
Livingston was once described by the Spectator as ‘Patient Zero for the epidemic of UK geek culture”, a phrase he now proudly displays on his bio. His impact on generations of geeks first in the UK and now globally is enormous, and the number of projects he’s created or been involved with or funded feels incalculable. It is a life filled with decades on decades of achievement: Hell, even the queen thinks so.