Agent: Philippa Milnes-Smith
In the 1970s Steve Jackson arrived in London from Altrincham, Manchester and got a job as a journalist writing for Games & Puzzles magazine. In 1975 he and his flatmate Ian Livingstone started a part-time mail order games business and it was through their Games Workshop that they discovered the original role-playing game, Dungeons & Dragons. Totally obsessed with Dungeons & Dragons, they turned their hobby into a business. Within 10 years Games Workshop was the largest hobby games company in Europe, with a turnover in the millions.
In 1982, Puffin Books published Jackson & Livingstone’s first book, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. It was the first in a series of ‘Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks’ which were described as ‘adventures in which YOU are the Hero’. Through a network of options, readers tried to solve each book’s quest. Discovering the ‘One True Way’ to complete each particular adventure became a schoolyard obsession, and Fighting Fantasy was a national craze. The books were published in more than 25 languages achieving worldwide sales of around 20 million copies.
Steve’s other works include Sorcery! an epic adventure gamebook quartet (a Sorcery App, developed in 2013 by Inkle Studios has to date had around 3m downloads); Battlecards (the first collectible card game); and FIST (the world’s first telephone adventure game).
In 1996, legendary videogame designer Peter Molyneux invited Steve to co-found Lionhead Studios. Lionhead’s first release Black & White sold over 2 million copies. When Lionhead was bought by Microsoft in 2006, Steve was offered a Professorship at Brunel University where he co-founded a course on Digital Games Design. Awarded with an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities, Steve taught at Brunel for 8 years. He lives and works in London.