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Livingstone, Ian

Entry updated 14 November 2022. Tagged: Author, Game.

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(1949-    ) UK Game designer, writer and entrepreneur. With Steve Jackson and John Peake, Livingstone founded Games Workshop in 1975, hoping to create and sell their own games, though the early growth of the business depended on importing US Role Playing Games. Games Workshop was later to become something of a British institution in the mould of 2000 AD, trading on the darkly humorous tone and fantastical violence of such games as Warhammer 40,000 (1987) and Dark Future (1988). Livingstone's most significant contribution to games design, however, was the creation of the Fighting Fantasy series of Gamebooks with Jackson. These books are essentially single-player pen-and-paper RPGs, quite different from such predecessors as the US Choose Your Own Adventure series. The commercial success of Fighting Fantasy led to a boom in similar, mostly UK created, series, including Lone Wolf and Blood Sword (see Gamebooks). Livingstone also designed several Board Games, of which the most interesting was perhaps the 2000 AD licence Judge Dredd (1982 Games Workshop), wrote an early nonfiction book on RPGs (Dicing with Dragons: An Introduction to Role-Playing Games [1982]) and, with Marc Gascoigne, authored a novel based on the Fighting Fantasy series, Shadowmaster (1992).

In the 1990s Livingstone moved into the Videogame industry, where he has subsequently served as a director on the boards of several prominent publishing companies. He was honoured with the Order of the British Empire for "services to the computer game industry" in 2006, and knighted in 2022. [NT]

Ian Livingstone

born Prestbury, Cheshire: 29 December 1949



Fighting Fantasy



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