Tell GR | What game developer do you most admire?

Hideo Kojima is arguably the most talked-about developer working today. Death Stranding is his latest divisive release, a game heralded as a masterpiece in some corners, but a laborious slog in others. But regardless of your thoughts on Kojima’s new game, his passion for his craft shines through all of his work, making him one of the most beloved creators in this industry.

After talking so much about Kojima for these past two weeks or so, we want to know which game developer YOU most admire. Is it the lead of a big AAA studio? Or a visionary indie dev who proved you don’t need a massive budget to create something beautiful?

Let us know in the comments section below and as always, we’ll feature our favorite response in tomorrow’s Tell GR:

Paul Tamburro, executive editor: “Shigeru Miyamoto’s creations helped define my childhood, so it’s got to be him. Without Super Mario World or A Link to the Past, my entry point into video games would have been much different. I respect a hell of a lot of game developers — this is a brutal industry that chews up and spits out even the most talented and passionate of creators — but none have impacted my life as much as Miyamoto.”

Jason Faulkner, senior editor: “I’m going to have to go with Satoru Iwata. He was an incredible programmer and by all accounts a lovely person. During his time at HAL Labs, he was known for being a genius programmer, whose work on Earthbound and Pokemon Gold and Silver essentially saved those games from failure. A lot of Nintendo’s current success is owed to him, and even when the Wii U failed and initial 3DS sales weren’t as high as expected, he persevered as head of that company and turned the situation around with the Switch.

“Unfortunately, he seems to have been so influential that in his absence, Nintendo seems to be wavering. While the Switch is immensely popular, you can definitely see the cracks around the edges starting to show with the controversy around Pokemon Sword and Shield (get ready to hear all about that next week). Iwata’s humility and personability kept Nintendo afloat through the hard times and gave them a face during a time when Sony and Microsoft seemed monolithic. With his death and Reggie’s departure, I’m not sure what the future holds for the company.”

Mack Ashworth, lead editor: “I’ll go with Eric Barone for Stardew Valley’s development. He made great changes without overpromising and delivered co-op, Nintendo Switch support, and a number of other great features without rushing things. He was also sensible and sought assistance from fellow developers when necessary.”

Michael Leri, features editor: “While my admiration for Ed Boon is relentless given his positive attitude and consistent presence in the industry, Insomniac CEO Ted Price probably sits in that top spot for me.

“He’s led the studio for over 25 years and made hit after hit while also seemingly sustaining a nice work environment, despite the team’s workaholic-esque name. Turnover doesn’t appear to be high at Insomniac and that is likely due to good leadership. He’s also got an optimistic attitude that I’ve respected and gotten to respect more after listening to his insightful podcast, Game Maker’s Notebook. Insomniac never quite got what it deserved until Spider-Man, and I’m glad they were able to stick around long enough to see that happen. And Price’s leadership undoubtedly played a sizeable role in staying around long enough to see that success blossom.”

Starling wins Friday’s best Tell GR comment

Question: Would you watch a Hideo Kojima movie?

Starling’s answer: “I would not because there would be too many lenghty gameplay segments in between! /jk

I would still like him to stick to games, though. It’s what I love him for. I would watch his movies but I would rather play them instead.”