David Perry (game developer)
David Perry, 2013
April 4, 1967 |
Lisburn, Northern Ireland
|Occupation||Video game developer and executive|
|Spouse(s)||Elaine Perry (28 July 2001 - present)|
David Perry (born 1967) is an Irish video game developer who has created dozens of video games, the best known of which include Earthworm Jim, MDK, Messiah, Wild 9 and Enter the Matrix. He also founded Shiny Entertainment, where he worked from 1993 to 2006. David Perry created games for many internationally known brands and companies, including Disney, 7 Up, McDonald's, Orion Pictures, and Warner Bros. In 2008 he was presented with an honorary doctorate from Queen's University Belfast for his services to computer gaming. He is also co-founder of cloud-based games service Gaikai.
Perry was born in April 1967 in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, growing up in the towns of Templepatrick and Donegore in County Antrim, attending Templepatrick Primary School and then Methodist College Belfast.
He began writing computer game programming books in 1982 at the age of 15, creating his own games for the Sinclair ZX81. According to an interview with the BBC, Perry stated that his first game was a driving game, "a black blob avoiding other black blobs", which he wrote and sent to a magazine, which printed it. He sent them more games and they sent him a cheque for £450—a bit of a problem for a teenager who did not yet have a bank account. His work continued though, until he was offered a job making just £3,500/year.
At the age of 17, he moved to London, where he developed games in Probe Software for publishers such as Elite Systems, Mirrorsoft, and Virgin Games, working on titles such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for several home computers and The Terminator for the Mega Drive/Genesis.
In 1991, he moved to the United States to work for the American division of Virgin Games, usually known as Virgin Games USA. While in there, he led the development duties for several award-winning products, including McDonald's Global Gladiators, 7-UP's Cool Spot, and Disney's Aladdin for the Mega Drive/Genesis. His work within Virgin Games USA also served as a basis for the development of other games like The Terminator for the Mega-CD and RoboCop Versus The Terminator and Walt Disney's The Jungle Book for the Mega Drive/Genesis, all of them developed after David Perry had left the studio.
On October 1, 1993, Perry formed his own company in Laguna Beach, California, Shiny Entertainment, naming the company after the song "Shiny Happy People" by R.E.M.. The company's first game Earthworm Jim was a hit, selling millions of copies on multiple platforms, including Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Super Nintendo and PC. The title character, an "average worm" who stumbled upon a space suit which turned him into a superhero, became immensely popular, and spawned a variety of other types of merchandise: action figures, comic books, and a syndicated television cartoon series on the Warner Kids Network, with the title character voiced on the show by Dan Castellaneta (also known as the voice behind Homer Simpson).
In 2002, Shiny Entertainment was acquired by Atari, Inc. in a US$47M deal, with Perry signed to a long-term contract to continue on as President. Also in 2002, Perry collaborated with the Wachowski Brothers on games in coordination with their Matrix series of movies.
In 2006, he resigned from Shiny, and formed GameConsultants.com, a consultancy firm planning to offer executive level video game industry advice, followed by GameInvestors.com, a business-to-business company to help video game development teams get funded.
In February 2008, Perry re-released his Game Industry Map website, a large games database, offered for free, mapping thousands of games and game companies on a map of the world, allowing students and industry employees to look up where games are made and companies based.
Perry is on the advisory board for the Game Developers Conference, and has spoken at industry venues such as E3, CES, Hollywood and Games, Digital Hollywood, iHollywood, SIGGRAPH, Entertainment in the Interactive Age, What Teens Want, The Banff Summit, as well as at major universities such as USC, and MIT. In 2006, he co-hosted the annual Game Developers Choice Awards with Tommy Tallarico.
Selected works 
|National ZX80/ZX81 Users Club Magazine||1982||Interface Publications|
|Tim Hartnell's Giant Book of Spectrum Games||1983||Interface Publications|
|49 Explosive Games for the ZX Spectrum||1983||Interface Publications|
|Astounding Arcade Games for your Spectrum + & Spectrum||1984||Interface Publications|
|Sord M5 Graphics Demos [Written in BASIC]||1982||Sord|
|Drakmaze (Original IP)||Mikro-Gen Software Ltd.|
|Pot-Holing Pete (Original IP)||Mikro-Gen Software Ltd.|
|Three Weeks in Paradise (Original IP)||Mikro-Gen Software Ltd.|
|Stainless Steel (Original IP)||Mikro-Gen Software Ltd.|
|Savage (Original IP)||via Probe Software -> Go / US Gold Ltd.|
|Tintin on the moon (Comic Book License)||via Probe Software -> Infogrames|
|Paperboy - II (Arcade Game Conversion)||Mindscape International Ltd.|
|Captain Planet (TV Show License)||Mindscape International Ltd.|
|Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (TV Show License)||1990||via Probe Software -> Mirrorsoft Ltd. / Konami|
|Smash T.V. (Arcade Game Conversion)||1990||via Probe Software -> Ocean Software Ltd.|
|Supremacy (UK) / Overlord (US) (Original IP)||1990||via Probe Software -> Virgin Games Ltd.|
|The Terminator (Movie License)||1992||via Probe Software -> Virgin Games Ltd.|
|McDonald's Global Gladiators (Based on McD Characters)||1992||Virgin Games Ltd.|
|7-UP's Cool Spot (AdvertGame)||1993||Virgin Games Ltd.|
|Disney's "Aladdin" (Movie License)||1993||Virgin Games Ltd.|
|Earthworm Jim||1994||Playmates Interactive Entertainment|
|Earthworm Jim 2||1995||Playmates Interactive Entertainment|
|MDK||1997||Playmates Interactive / Interplay Entertainment.|
|Wild 9||1998||Interplay Entertainment, Inc.|
|Messiah||2000||Interplay Entertainment, Inc.|
|Sacrifice||2000||Interplay Entertainment, Inc.|
|Enter the Matrix||2003||Atari Inc.|
|The Matrix: Path of Neo||2005||Atari Inc.|
|The Darkness||2007||2K Games|
|Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures||2008||Eidos Interactive|
- 49 explosive games for the ZX Spectrum. By Tim Hartnell with David Perry. London : Interface, 1983.
- David Perry on Game Design. Delmar, 2009.
- "CNN article about Matrix game". May 15, 2003.
- "Dave Perry resigns from Shiny". Eurogamer.net. 2006-02-20.
- "GameDaily article".
- "MIT Speakers List".
- Lifshitz, Jesse (2009-08-08). "OnLive and Gaikai - How to Stop a Gaming Revolution". ablegamers.com. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- Bailey, Kat (2009-07-10). "New Michael Jackson Game Reportedly Under Development". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- Brown, Nathan (2012-02-07). "Sony acquires Gaikai". edge.com. Retrieved 2012-02-07.
- Search result from Oxford University Libraries (solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk)
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