Jon Hare

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Jon Hare
Jon "Jops" Hare
Born (1966-01-20) 20 January 1966 (age 54)
OccupationComputer game designer, game artist, musician

Jon "Jops" Hare (born 20 January 1966, Ilford, Essex, England) is an English computer game designer, game artist and musician. He is one of the two founder members and directors, with Chris Yates, of Sensible Software, one of the most successful European games development companies of the late 1980s and 1990s.


Gaming career[edit]


Hare was the lead designer, creative director, and predominant lead artist and musical composer of the Sensible Soccer series, the Cannon Fodder series and Mega Lo Mania, some of the most popular software franchises of the mid-1990s. Prior to that Hare was also co-designer and lead artist of all of Sensible's games including Parallax, Wizball, Microprose Soccer, SEUCK and Wizkid.


Since the sale of Sensible Software to Codemasters in 1999, Hare has worked in the capacity of a consultant designer on many games including numerous strategy, action and sports games including Real World Golf and Sensible Soccer 2006. Hare is also one of the founders and owner of games company Tower Studios, founded in 2004 with two former Bitmap Brothers it has developed a number of successful titles including mobile phone versions of Cannon Fodder and Sensible Soccer.

Hare has been a voting member of BAFTA across all media since 2004 and works periodically for BAFTA as both a juror and a mentor.

In 2006, Hare contributed a weekly politics feature to UK video game radio show One Life Left.

Hare then became a director of development at Nikitova Games, a games developer with offices in Chicago, Los Angeles and London; and development studios in Kiev, Ukraine. They worked on several projects for Nintendo DS and Wii, such as Showtime Championship Boxing and the as-yet-unreleased CCTV.[1]

Hare Performing at St Lukes with band SID80s, October 2004

In July 2009, Hare joined Jagex (makers of browser-based MMORPG RuneScape and casual gaming website FunOrb) as their Head of Publishing.[2]


In January 2010, Hare announced the launch of a new independent online games publisher, Me-Stars,[3] a games network for browser and iPhone platforms. All Me-Stars games were to feature in game Me-Stars to pick up, win and redeem and interactive high scores and friends lists that appear inside each game during gameplay, depicted by the animated photo-realistic heads found in Me-Motes Messenger (released January 2010).[4] However the Me-Stars games network was never launched and instead became a relaunch of Tower Studios as a publisher on many mobile and online downloadable platforms of classic licensed games from the 80s - 90s as well as new designs from Jon and other game developers. Tower's most successful title as a publisher to date has been 'Speedball 2 Evolution' a remake of The Bitmap Brothers classic game which topped the iPad and Mac charts across Europe in 2011 and was followed up with 'Speedball 2 HD' in 2013 on PC. In 2014 Hare also announced the imminent release of 'Word Explorer' his first original game in 20 years, developed in collaboration with award winning Polish development team Vivid Games and published through a number of different publishing partners including Mastertronic and Big Fish.

Hare has enjoyed a 6-year tenure as visiting lecturer at University of Westminster, London for "Professional Practice in Games Development" from 2011-2016 as well as numerous national and international lectures on games design, business and his career at universities across Europe as far apart as Cambridge, Istanbul, Copenhagen and Stockholm. Following this grounding in higher education in 2014 he launched, in collaboration with Professor Carsten Maple, a network of UK Games Industry Courses and Games companies known as B.U.G.S. 'Business and University Games Syndicate'. The launch event of BUGS at BAFTA featured numerous talks from games industry bodies and endorsements of BUGS from Ian Livingstone and Ed Vaizey MP, the then government minister for culture. BUGS function being to vet and host links to the completed and published games of students from all BUGS universities (approximately 30% of all UK games students) and to make these games accessible to all games industry companies signed to BUGS (approximately 35% of all UK games companies by employee numbers) to help the companies to identify the top games students in the UK and to give the students industry oriented objectives during their studies.

In 2013, Sensible Software 1986–1999 a biographical book about Sensible Software featuring extensive interviews with Hare, and numerous other Sensible members and game industry personalities, plus over 100 pages of artwork reproductions of much of Hare's earlier work as a game artist, was launched by independent book publisher ROM. Written by games journalist Gary Penn it was the first and, to date, only book about the computer games industry to feature in the BAFTA library and archive in London.

In 2016, via exhibitions in the London Science Museum, Gamescom and numerous other European games events, Jon Hare demonstrated the continuing development of Sociable Soccer on numerous PC, console, mobile and VR platforms, despite a cancelled Kickstarter for the game in the previous year.[5]


Hare has also been a prolific songwriter since 1982 and has featured in a number of bands over the years as a singer and guitarist, including Essex outfits Hamsterfish, Dark Globe and Touchstone, all of which also featured Chris Yates on lead guitar. Dark Globe was particularly important in the formation of the creative relationship between Hare and Yates prior to the formation of Sensible Software and rehearsed in the house of Richard Ashrowan one of Hare's closest friends since childhood. From 1990 onwards, Hare was also a frequent musical collaborator with Richard Joseph, another close friend with whom he co-wrote and arranged all of Sensible Software's best known musical tracks including the soundtrack for Cannon Fodder the GBA version of which was also nominated for a BAFTA in 2000, and is still the only small-format soundtrack to be recognized by BAFTA to this day. In 1995 Hare and Joseph embarked upon an epic 32 track soundtrack for the multimedia product Sex 'n' Drugs 'n' Rock 'n' Roll, signed to Warner Interactive, however in 1998 Warner bowed out of the games market and their Magnum Opus was only ever released as a limited edition audio CD. Since 2000 Hare has also written for and performed with a number of outfits including the Little Big Band featuring Jack Monck and Sid 80s featuring Ben Daglish.

Hare is also known for writing the music for a number of Sensible Software's games, including Cannon Fodder, Sensible Soccer, Sensible Golf and the never released Sex 'n' Drugs 'n' Rock 'n' Roll, which featured over 30 tracks written and arranged by Hare and his frequent musical collaborator, Richard Joseph.

Games designed or co-designed[edit]

Year Title Platform(s)
1985 Twister, Mother of Charlotte ZX Spectrum
1986 Parallax C64
1987 Wizball C64; ZX Spectrum
S.E.U.C.K. C64; Amiga
1988 Oh No C64
Microprose Soccer C64; ZX Spectrum
1990 International 3D Tennis C64; ZX Spectrum; Amiga; ST
1991 Insects in Space C64
Mega Lo Mania Amiga; ST; Mega Drive; SNES; DOS
1992 Wizkid Amiga; ST
Sensible Soccer Amiga; ST; Mega Drive; SNES
Sensible Soccer International Edition Amiga; ST; Atari Jaguar
Sim Brick Amiga
1993 Sensible Soccer 92/93 Amiga; ST
Cannon Fodder Amiga; ST; DOS; Archimedes; Mega Drive; Atari Jaguar; 3DO
1994 Cannon Fodder 2 Amiga; DOS
Sensible Golf
Sensible World of Soccer
1995 Sensible World of Soccer 95/96
Sensible Train Spotting Amiga
1996 Sensible World of Soccer European Championship Edition Amiga; DOS
Sensible World of Soccer 96/97
1998 Sensible Soccer '98 DOS; Windows 9x
1998 Sensible Soccer European Club Edition DOS; Windows 9x; PlayStation
2000 Cannon Fodder Game Boy Color
2001 Prince Naseem Boxing PlayStation; Game Boy Color
2002 Mike Tyson Heavyweight Boxing PlayStation 2; Xbox
2003 World War II: Frontline Command PC
2004 Sensible Soccer Mobile Phones
2005 Cannon Fodder

Mobile Phones

International Rugby Sevens
2006 Real World Golf

Xbox; PlayStation 2; PC

Sensible Soccer 2006
2007 Showtime Boxing Nintendo Wii; Nintendo DS
2008 Casper's Scare School (video game) Nintendo DS
M&Ms Adventure Nintendo Wii; Nintendo DS
2009 Football Superstars

PC Online

I Can Football
Real Madrid: The Game Nintendo Wii; Nintendo DSi; PSP; PC
2010 Me-Motes Messenger iPhone; PC
Shoot to Kill iOS; PC
2011 Alien Puzzle Adventure Nintendo DSiWare
Speedball 2 Evolution iOS; Apple Mac; Nokia Smartphones; Sony Minis
2013 Speedball 2 HD PC
2014 Word Explorer iOS; PC; Apple Mac
2017 Sociable Soccer PC (Steam)


  1. ^ "A Talk With Jon Hare". Cubed3. 11 July 2009.
  2. ^ Mod AT, Jagex staff member (8 July 2009). "Twitter / Jagex: We're delighted to welcome ..." statuses. San Francisco, CA 94107, United States: Twitter. Retrieved 8 July 2009. We're delighted to welcome Sensible Software legend Jon Hare to #Jagex as our new Head of PublishingCS1 maint: location (link)
  3. ^ Archived 17 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Archived 23 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^

External links[edit]