The British games industry veteran and co-founder of Eidos Interactive, Ian Livingstone, has announced his decision to resign after more than 20 years working with the team, it has been announced. In 2009 Eidos were acquired by Japanese firm Square Enix, and have since been operating as Square Enix Europe; Livingstone leaves his position of Eidos Life President.
In a post on the Square Enix blog, the publisher has said that Livingstone is “setting out on a new chapter to focus more time on the important projects he is working on outside of Square Enix”.
During his time at Eidos, since the mid-nineties, Livingstone helped to launch several popular video game franchises including Thief & Hitman, although his most notable discovery has to be that of a certain Miss Lara Croft, whom he helped bring to market after a visit to the studio of the game’s creators, Core Design.
Livingstone’s contribution to the games industry as a whole spans wider than his days at Eidos & Square Enix though; In 1975 he co-founded iconic table-top games company Games Workshop, which launched Dungeons & Dragons in Europe. He is also responsible for the Fighting Fantasy series of books, which have sold in excess of 17 million copies since 1982.
He has also been heavily involved in the campaign to improve computer teaching in the UK, and co-authored the next-gen skills report, which led Education Secretary Michael Gove to overhaul computing classes, and place a wider focus on programming within the new Computer Science curriculum.
Livingstone’s current roles include being Vice Chair of UKIE, Chair of Playdemic, Chair of PlayMob, Chair of Skillset’s Video Games Council, Chair of the Next Gen Skills Committee, Member of the Creative Industries Council, Trustee of GamesAid and an advisor to the British Council. Square Enix have said that Livingstone will remain active in the games industry as both as an advisor and entrepreneur in social and mobile games.
Phil Rogers, CEO of Square Enix for Europe and America, said: “Every industry has pioneers and legends, words which can be used too casually, but not in the case of Ian, who should be an inspiration to everyone making games all over the world.
“Without his creativity and vision, names like Games Workshop, Fighting Fantasy and Tomb Raider might never have been.
“Over and above his gaming success he has worked tirelessly to further the UK video games industry and more recently to promote education and computer literacy. Doing all this whilst devoting a lot of personal time to supporting numerous charities where he now wants to focus even more of his efforts.
“We thank Ian. They say ‘Busy people make time’ and I’m hopeful that our and Ian’s paths will cross again.”