The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) has announced that Mark Cerny will be its 13th inductee into its hall of fame. I’m totally jazzed by this news. I have the utmost respect for Cerny and think he’s an amazing talent. For whatever reason, he’s always flown under the radar compared to his contemporaries and has been woefully underrated by Joe Gamer. Thankfully the AIAS is here to bring this awesome talent to everyone’s attention. Since I’m a Cerny mark, I implore you to read this lengthy bit from the AIAS’ press release:
In 1985 Cerny joined Sega, relocating to its Tokyo offices and transitioning from arcade games to cartridge-based games for home systems. At the time, he spoke no Japanese, however he quickly became proficient in the language. In addition to creating conventional games such as Shooting Gallery for the Sega Master System, Cerny worked in the extreme high-tech end of the 1980’s console business, setting up a line of 3-D games using active shutter glasses, and an online games network — both projects ahead of their time. After three years in Tokyo he returned to the US, where he founded and managed the Sega Technical Institute and oversaw the development of Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
Cerny joined Universal Studios in 1994 to set up product development at their interactive group, as VP and later President. Shifting to a producer role, Cerny managed the design and development of the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon series for PlayStation, focusing on enhancing the games’ appeal for the Japanese market. The games were blockbuster hits, selling over 30 million units internationally. In Japan, the Crash Bandicoot series became the most successful foreign developed, character-based video game of all time, a distinction it still holds today.
In 1998, Cerny founded Cerny Games where he consulted on behalf of Universal Studios of subsequent Spyro the Dragon and Crash Bandicoot titles. He then worked with Insomniac and Naughty Dog on their debut titles for PlayStation 2 as engine programmer for Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy and game designer for Ratchet & Clank.
His resume is pretty awesome, don’t you agree? Congrats to Mr. Cerny for this well deserved honor.