Steve Cartwright

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Steve Cartwright in 2011
For the football player, see Steve Cartwright (footballer).

Steve Cartwright is an American computer and video game designer.[1] He is best known as one of the original Activision game designers credited with such hits as Barnstorming, Megamania, Seaquest and Hacker.[2] After an 8-year run at Electronic Arts (EA) where Cartwright designed and produced the Tiger Woods products as well as EA's first on-line sports site, he later designed, produced, or otherwise developed products accounting for up to 70% of revenue for Glu Mobile More recently, he directed the development of Zoo World 2 for Rockyou.

Among his many accomplishments, Cartwright is credited with the following video game milestones:

  • Directed / patented first use of mouse-over to collect on-screen rewards (Zoo World 2)
  • Designed / developed first political boxing game (Bush vs. Kerry Boxing)
  • Designed / produced first PGA Tour Tiger Woods Golf
  • Designed / produced EA's first casual sports game (CyberTiger - precursor to EA Big)
  • Designed / produced EA's first multi-player sports game (PGA TOUR Pro)
  • Designed / produced first use of an in-game aiming trajectory guide (PGA TOUR 486)
  • Designed / developed first game game using actors against a blue screen (Lost in LA)
  • Designed / developed first sports game to use a true TV perspective (Fast Break)
  • Designed / developed first game using movie dialog & cut scenes (Aliens)
  • Designed / developed first stealth game (Hacker II)
  • Designed / developed first story-driven graphic action/adventure (Hacker)
  • Conceived first video game sequel (Pitfall II)[2]


In 1982, Cartwright joined college classmate David Crane as the fifth game designer/programmer at Activision. Cartwright's titles included:[3]


In 1988, Cartwright joined Activision founders Alan Miller and Bob Whitehead and Accolade. Among his products were the Sierra-style graphic adventures Search for The King and Les Manley in: Lost in L.A.—the first product to use live actors captured in front of a blue screen

Electronic Arts[edit]

In 1993, Cartwright joined Electronic Arts. He soon took over producer responsibility on the fledgling PGA TOUR line and helped redesign the NBA Live product line. Among the many innovations to the golf line were the first use[2] of digitized golfers, the first EA golf product with 3D terrain, and the first use of a targeting arc and putting guides in a golf product. Later, with the addition of Tiger Woods, EA's golf franchise became the number one golf product in the world—quickly eclipsing both Sony's Hot Shots Golf and Links by Access.[4]

In 1999, Cartwright designed and producer Tiger Woods '99. Additionally, Cartwright designed the product to include 1-button access to a game server and match server—making this EA's first online multiplayer sports game. Later, with the addition of the "Play Against The Pros" feature, Cartwright was awarded co-patent holder rights to the technology that eventually became the basis of the PGA TOUR's Shotlink technology.

Glu Mobile[edit]

In 2002, Cartwright joined veteran Scott Orr as an internal developer at Glu Mobile, originally known as Sorrent. After a 10-year hiatus from programming, Cartwright developed six of Sorrent's first eight products. During the 2004 presidential election, Cartwright took his previous product FOX Sports Boxing, added a little political twist and humor, and created the summer's Bush vs. Kerry Boxing. He was later named Director of Production where products he designed, produced, or otherwise developed accounted for up to 70% of Glu Mobile revenue.

TAG Networks[edit]

In 2006, Cartwright joined TV Head—now TAG Networks—as Executive Producer. TAG is a games-on-demand television network. While at TAG, Cartwright was involved with titles such as:

Slipgate Ironworks[edit]

In 2008, Cartwright spent several months developing and pursuing VC funding for a Kid's MMO in the vein of Club Penguin. This endeavor was abandoned when he joined designer John Romero at his startup Slipgate Ironworks. The company ended up closing its doors before the MMO's release.

Streakwise Sports[edit]

In 2009, Cartwright joined former colleagues Adam Bellin and Sam Nelson in project design to make sports statistics fun and entertaining. The first project, Streakwise Draft Tracker 2011, reached as high as #2 on the App Store with virtually no marketing.


In 2010, Cartwright joined RockYou as GM of the Redwood City Games Studio. In his first few weeks, he recruited John Yoo, lead designer on Zynga's CityVille, and helped RockYou establish a relationship with John Romero and his new company, Loot Drop. After managing through a difficult transition period following the layoff of nearly 1/3 of the company, Cartwright became Sr. Director of Design. He then worked closely with Executive Producer Jennifer Gee on the launch of RockYou's Zoo World 2 Facebook project.[5]


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