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Jeff Briggs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jeffery L. Briggs
Born (1957-03-10) March 10, 1957 (age 67)
Occupation(s)Video game composer, designer
Known forCivilization series

Jeffery L. Briggs (born March 10, 1957) is the American founder and former President and CEO of Firaxis Games, a video game developer based in Hunt Valley, Maryland, United States. He was previously a game designer at MicroProse but left that company in 1996 along with Sid Meier and Brian Reynolds to form Firaxis Games.



Briggs holds a Doctorate in Musical Composition and Theory from the University of Illinois. Briggs' composition teachers included Samuel Adler, Warren Benson, Joseph Schwantner, Donald Freund, and John Melby.[citation needed] His career began in New York City where he composed music for various events, including dance and theater groups. He took a job as game editor and designer at West End Games where he worked until 1987. He then joined MicroProse Software, where he served as designer, writer, composer and producer, becoming the company's Executive Producer and, finally, its Director of Product Development.[citation needed]

Briggs's music first appeared in a 1989 MicroProse release Sword of the Samurai. Following that, most MicroProse games featured his work. Before working in software entertainment, Briggs' music had already received performances by ensembles internationally in Paris' Pompidou Centre ("Ecliptic"), New York City's Avery Fisher Hall ("Comets"), and in the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Illinois ("Adjectives," "Firaxis", "Chimera," "Aurora," and others) as well as various smaller venues in New York and other cities throughout the United States.[citation needed] In 1996, he was awarded US Patent 5,496,962 for a "System for Real-Time Music Composition and Synthesis" used in a product called "CPU Bach".[1]

Briggs left MicroProse in 1996 to co-found Firaxis Games. In a 2004 interview he commented his decision: "Civ II had just come out and MicroProse had been purchased by Spectrum HoloByte. [...] Things had gotten pretty bad. By that time I was director of product development and they were asking me to do things and tell people things that I just didn't like. I decided that I could do a lot better job running the company than they could, so I left."[2] Briggs then led the design of Civilization III and oversaw the expansion of the company into a major developer of strategy computer games. He also co-designed Colonization and Civilization II, as well as composing much of the original music in Civilization IV. He negotiated the acquisition of Firaxis Games by Take Two Interactive in 2005, became its Chairman in spring of 2006, and left Firaxis in November of that year.[3][citation needed]

In 2009, the Westfield Symphony Orchestra presented the world premiere of his composition "Celebration for Orchestra".[4]


Name Year Credited with Publisher
Sword of the Samurai 1989 composer, writer MicroProse
Silent Service II 1990 composer MicroProse
Railroad Tycoon 1990 composer MicroProse
Covert Action 1990 composer MicroProse
Lightspeed 1990 composer MicroProse
Knights of the Sky 1990 designer MicroProse
Civilization 1991 composer, writer MicroProse
Hyperspeed 1991 composer MicroProse
Gunship 2000 1991 composer MicroProse
F-117A Nighthawk Stealth Fighter 2.0 1991 designer, composer MicroProse
Task Force 1942 1992 composer MicroProse
Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender 1992 composer MicroProse
F-15 Strike Eagle III 1992 composer MicroProse
Darklands 1992 composer MicroProse
Command HQ (Macintosh) 1992 composer MicroProse
The Ancient Art of War in the Skies 1992 composer MicroProse
Super Strike Eagle 1993 composer MicroProse
Railroad Tycoon Deluxe 1993 composer MicroProse
Pirates! Gold 1993 composer MicroProse
Colonization 1994 designer, composer MicroProse
Civilization II 1996 producer, designer, composer MicroProse
Gettysburg! 1997 designer, programmer Electronic Arts
Alpha Centauri 1999 composer, executive producer Electronic Arts
Alien Crossfire 1999 composer, executive producer Electronic Arts
Antietam! 1999 designer Firaxis Games
Civilization III 2001 designer Infogrames
Civilization III: Conquests 2003 designer Atari SA
Pirates! 2004 designer Atari SA
Civilization IV 2005 composer 2K Games
Civilization IV: Warlords 2006 composer 2K Games



In 2011,Jeffery Briggs was awarded the 2011 International Music Prize for Excellence in Composition by the National Academy of Music for two pace-setting works:  Celebration - for Orchestra and 3rd String Quartet[5]. In 2003, Briggs was named software "Entrepreneur of the Year" by Ernst & Young, and in 2004 he was named "CEO of the Year" by Baltimore SmartCEO magazine.[6]

He was awarded the Bernard and Rose Sernoffsky and Louis Lane Prizes for Music Composition at the Eastman School of Music (1978, 1979),[citation needed] the Haimsohm Prize for Musical Composition at the University of Memphis (1980),[citation needed]the ASCAP Award for Young Composers (1984), and a MacDowell Colony Fellowship (1986).[citation needed]


  1. ^ US A system for automatically generating musical compositions on demand one after another without duplication ... in a variety of genres and forms so that concerts based on generated compositions will have a varied mix of pieces incorporated therein. 5496962, Meier, Sidney K. & Briggs, Jeffery L., "System for Real-Time Music Composition and Synthesis", issued 5 March 1996 
  2. ^ Conditt, Jessica. "Joystiq". GameDaily. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
  3. ^ Bozeman, Bobby (2014-11-16). "Developing Civilization". TimesDaily. Tennessee Valley Printing Co. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
  4. ^ "Westfield Symphony Orchestra". Westfieldsymphony.org. Archived from the original on 2011-10-07. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
  5. ^ "PR-Prize". Jeff Briggs, Composer. Retrieved 2024-06-23.
  6. ^ Firaxis' Jeffery Briggs named CEO of the Year, by Gamespot Staff on October 11, 2004