Jon Van Caneghem
|Jon Van Caneghem|
Jon Van Caneghem Interview Photo
|Born||1962/1963 (age 51–52)|
|Alma mater||University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)|
|Notable work(s)||Might and Magic series
Heroes of Might and Magic series
|Awards||Computer Gaming World Hall of Fame|
Jon Van Caneghem (born 1962/1963) is an American video game director, designer and producer. He is best known for launching development studio New World Computing in 1983, making his design debut in 1986 with Might and Magic Book One: The Secret of the Inner Sanctum. During the company's 20-year lifespan, Van Caneghem was involved in the creation and direction of several franchises, including the Might and Magic role-playing series and the spin-off Heroes of Might and Magic and King's Bounty strategy series.
Van Caneghem was raised on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California, United States by his mother, an artist, and his stepfather, a neurologist at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He attended grade school at Lycée Français de Los Angeles and his collegiate alma mater is UCLA, where he started as a pre-med student and graduated with a degree in computer science.
Their first title was the medieval fantasy Might and Magic: Secret of the Inner Sanctum—one of the first role-playing games to feature detailed drawings of both indoor and outdoor locations. It debuted in 1986 for the Apple II. The series went on to include nine bestselling games, all of which Van Cangehem co-created. In 1990 Van Caneghem released King's Bounty, the forerunner of the Heroes of Might and Magic series of seven games which feature turn-based, fantasy-themed conflicts in which players control armies of mythical creatures.
In the following 20 years as president and CEO of New World Computing, Van Caneghem oversaw the publishing of more than 250 titles worldwide.
Van Caneghem sold New World Computing to developer and publisher 3DO in 1996 for USD$13 million. He remained with 3DO as president and "lead visionary" until 2003 when 3DO filed for bankruptcy and eliminated its New World Computing division. The rights to the Might and Magic name were purchased for $1.3 million by Ubisoft, which revived the franchise with a new series under the same name.
From 2004 to 2005, Van Caneghem worked at NCSoft as executive producer of a massively multiplayer online game. In 2006 Van Caneghem left NCSoft and launched Trion World Network, headquartered in Redwood City, California, after securing more than $100 million in investment capital from Time Warner, NBC Universal, GE and Bertelsmann. Trion produces server-side games.
Van Caneghem left Trion in 2009 and joined Electronic Arts where he headed the video game giant's Command & Conquer brand. Van Caneghem was responsible for extending the series online. On October 29, 2013, EA cancelled the development of the current Command & Conquer game and closed the development studio.
Van Caneghem was inducted into the Computer Gaming World Hall of Fame in 2004 for Strategy and Role-Playing. The first Might and Magic games is number 44 in Computer Gaming World's Hall of Fame, and the Heroes of Might and Magic II is number 31. Heroes of Might and Magic I won Strategy Game of the Year from Computer Gaming World, Turn-Based Strategy Game of the Year from Strategy Plus, Editor's Choice from PC Gamer, and Golden Triad from Computer Game Review.
Van Caneghem lives in Los Angeles, California and has a daughter, Amanda.
Van Caneghem is an avid race car driver and has won or placed in races regularly since the '90s. This hobby grew from his unofficial races down Mulholland Drive in the Hollywood hills and in the early '90s grew into a more serious hobby on racetracks across the country. He attended the Skip Barber Racing School during this time.
Van Caneghem has competed in over 100 races with dozens of wins with the Sports Car Club of America where he competed in GT2, CSR, DSR, S7, SGT, and Pro7. With Nasa Pro Racing, he competed in Mazda-GT, ST2, STR2. Van Caneghem also won races with Cal Club, including the SGT2 Season Winner in 2005.
- Might and Magic I, 1986
- Might and Magic II, 1988
- Nuclear War, 1989
- Tunnels & Trolls: Crusaders of Khazan, 1990
- King's Bounty, 1990
- Planet's Edge, 1991
- Might and Magic III, 1991
- Might and Magic IV: Clouds of Xeen, 1992
- Might and Magic V: Darkside of Xeen, 1993
- Zephyr, 1994
- Might and Magic: World of Xeen, 1994
- Inherit the Earth: Quest for the Orb, 1994
- Hammer of the Gods, 1994
- Wetlands, 1995
- Swords of Xeen, 1995
- Multimedia Celebrity Poker, 1995
- Heroes of Might and Magic, 1995
- Heroes of Might and Magic: A Strategic Quest, 1995
- Anvil of Dawn, 1995
- Spaceward Ho! IV for Windows, 1996
- Heroes of Might and Magic II, 1996
- Empire II: The Art of War, 1996
- Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Price of Loyalty, 1997
- Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven, 1998
- Heroes of Might and Magic II Gold, 1998
- Might and Magic VII: For Blood and Honor, 1999
- Heroes of Might and Magic, Millennium Edition, 1999
- Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia, 1999
- Crusaders of Might and Magic, 1999
- Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer, 2000
- Heroes of Might and Magic III Complete, (Collector's Edition), 2000
- Heroes Chronicles: Warlords of the Wastelands, 2000
- Heroes Chronicles: Masters of the Elements, 2000
- Heroes Chronicles: Conquest of the Underworld, 2000
- Heroes Chronicles: Clash of the Dragons, 2000
- Legends of Might and Magic, 2001
- Heroes of Might and Magic: Quest for the Dragon Bone Staff, 2001
- Heroes Chronicles: The Final Chapters, 2001
- Classic Personal Computer (PC) Games » The Computer Gaming World Hall of Fame from GoldenAgeOfGames.com
- AN EDUCATION IN GAME MARKET\33-year-old's magical touch has transformed passion for role playing\adventures into a lucrative reality from TheFreeLibrary.com
- High score!: the illustrated history of electronic games from Google Books
- The History of Computer Role-Playing Games Part 2: The Golden Age (1985-1993) from Gamasutra
- "3DO and NTN Inc. Complete New World Computing Acquisition.".
- David Becker. "3DO files for bankruptcy".
- "Namco, Ubisoft and MS carve up 3DO assets".
- Curt Feldman. "Q&A: NCsoft executive producer Jon Van Caneghem".
- Eric Caoili. "Trion World Network Nets $70 Million More".
- "Q&A: Trion's Buttler Talks $30 Million Online World Funding".
- Dean Takahashi. "Trion World Network plays executive musical chairs".
- Leigh Alexander. "Interview: Van Caneghem Talks EALA's Vision, Command & Conquer".
- "Interview: Jon Van Caneghem on Reinventing Command & Conquer".
- "EA cancels Command & Conquer, closes development studio".
- Computer Gaming World Hall of Fame from 1up.com
- Computer Gaming World Hall of Fame from 1up.com
- 2005 2005 Regional Point Standings as of 27 November 2005 from CalClub.com
- Track Lap Records for Track Buttonwillow RP 25CCW from CalClub.com