9 Video Game Designers Even Non-Gamers Have Heard Of

Though video game designers may not reach the level of stardom an actor might get, there are some video game designers nearly everyone knows about.

Though video game designers may not reach the level of stardom an actor might get, there are some video game designers nearly everyone knows about.

Much like Film or TV, Video Games are generally a collaborative medium. There can be dozens, potentially hundreds of people, all working on a singular project for massive games. Nevertheless, much like a director in Film, there is typically a lead game designer or creative director guiding everyone under a single vision.

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Those that are well versed in gaming news or gaming culture would be familiar with a large number of video game designers that have produced amazing video games. However, some video game designers can become so popular and well known that mainstream audiences would, at the very least, be familiar with the name of the video game designer.


Bennett Foddy- One Of The Few Names Gamers Would Yell In Anger

Getting over it designer Bennett Foddy receiving an award

Bennett Foddy has likely become more popular as of late due to releasing the game Getting Over It: With Bennett Foddy likely due to the notion that his name is in the game’s title. Getting Over It: With Bennett Foddy became an internet sensation for being a challenging game.

Bennett Foddy may have an affinity for creating difficult games. For example, he has created QWOP and GRIP, both notoriously difficult games. Though he is only worked on smaller but popular games, he has certainly made a name for himself by angering players.


Todd Howard- A Popular Designer Of The Elder Scrolls And Fallout

Todd Howard, designer for Fallout and The Elder Scrolls

Like many of the most popular video game designers, Todd Howard has made his work known to many gamers and non-gamers alike. Todd Howard initially started working on the smaller Terminator games, then jumped into The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall and contained to work for Bethesda game studios on Skyrim and the Fallout series.

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Todd is also one of the few game designers that could be well known due to the many internet memes based on him. One particular one is the “See that mountain? You can climb it” meme, a quote from Todd talking about Skyrim.


Masahiro Sakurai- The Creator Of Kirby And The E-Sports Sensation: Smash

Masahiro Sakurai creator of Super Smash Bros and Kirby

Though Masahiro Sakurai may prefer not to be in the limelight, his work has brought him into the public’s eye. Starting his career when he was 19 when he first conceived of the Nintendo character Kirby. Masahiro Sakurai worked on more Kirby video games until 1999. After that, he was the creative director of Super Smash Bros, the immeasurably popular Nintendo fighting game.

As the years went on, Masahiro Sakurai would work on several Kirby and Super Smash sequels, all becoming insanely popular when they were released. In 2015, Masahiro Sakurai had discussed the possibility of retirement but seemed to release one more game of Super Smash Bros Ultimate in 2018.


Sid Meier- Over 24 Video Games Have His Name In The Title

Sid Meier a popular designers for the Civilization series

That is right. Nearly over 24 video games have his name in the title, but that does not even scratch the surface of how many games he is worked on. Sid Meier was one of the founders of Firaxis Games, which has produced dozens of game titles and has worked on a couple of successful franchises such as Civilization and Xcom.

The reason Sid Meier’s name is on so many different titles is partly due to Robin Williams. With Robin Williams and Sid Mier’s business partner Bill Stealey, Robin suggested that Bill put Sid Meier’s name on the games to sell more. Sure enough, the suggestion worked.


Ed Boon- One Of The Orginal Creators Of Mortal Kombat Who Is Still Working On The Franchise

Ed Boon Creator of Mortal Kombat

Most people would be familiar with Ed Boon partly because he was the voice behind Scroipions famous phrase “GET OVER HERE!” in Mortal Kombat. Ed Boon is one of the two lead designers of Mortal Kombat alongside his business partner John Tobias.

Though John Tobias and Ed Boon had separated as business partners in 2000, Ed Boon would become synonymous with the Mortal Kombat franchise. He would help in its reboot in 2011.


Satoshi Tajiri- A Prolific Designer Who Helped Establish The Pokémon Series

Satoshi Tajiri the creator of Pokemon

Satoshi Tajiri started his gaming career writing and editing for a gaming source called Game Freak, which focused on the arcade gaming scene. Eventually, he would begin working for Nintendo and quickly rose the ranks when he was the creative director for the games Yoshi and Mario and Wario.

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Satoshi Tajiri would then strike gold when he was one of the head designers for Pokémon Red, Blue, and Green. This would snowball into not only becoming one of the most successful game series but one of the most well-known gaming series to date.


Shigeru Miyamoto- The Father Of Mario And Link

Shigeru Miyamoto the creator of Mario and the Founder of Nintendo

Not only is Shigeru Miyamoto a popular game designer, but he is also one of the most successful businessmen in the gaming industry. First starting in the Arcade games business having designed the widely popular arcade game Donkey Kong.

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Donkey Kong would build in popularity for Shigeru Miyamoto’s career soon after moving on to design Super Mario and The Legend Of Zelda for the NES. Then it was just success after success with the development of more Nintendo titles and essentially building Nitendeo into the powerhouse company it is today.


John Carmack- The Co-Inventor Of The First Person Shooter Genere

John Carmack the creator of Doom

Gamers owe a lot to John Carmack. John Carmack was one of the lead designers for the company ID software. He is most notably the creator of several popular series including Doom, Wolfenstein, and Quake, to name a few.

John Carmack’s work on developing Doom is his most notable work. He had created and popularized First Person Shooters. Without him, we would not have Call of Duty, Overwatch, or any other game that utilizes the first-person perspective.


Hideo Kojima- The Man Behind The Metal Gear Series

Hideo Kojima the creator of the Metal Gear Series and Death Stranding

It is hard to separate Hideo Kojima from any property he has worked on. While as a designer, he has a proclivity to make his name appear on each major project he works on. With good reason, the Metal Gear Solid series is one of the most innovative and profound game series to date.

Hideo Kojima’s habit of attaching his name to be front and center on most projects has made his name known beyond the gaming community. It is gotten to the point where just having his name attached to a project may guarantee sales for a game. That is a good example of name recognition.

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About The Author

Daniel Colohan

(43 Articles Published)

Daniel is a writer, filmmaker, game-master, and game player based in Los Angeles California. Daniel has studied at the University of Southern California: Santa Barbara earning a Bachelors in Film and Media studies. He has worked as a Dishwasher, a Performer at the local Zoo, an online salesman and now a lists writer for Comic Book Resources.

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