Do you remember the first time? We've been quizzing key industry figures about their earliest gaming memories, and the key titles that sparked their love for the medium. Read on to hear where it all began for Cliff Bleszinski, Peter Molyneux, Kaz Hirai, and many more.

Kaz Hirai, president and group CEO of Sony

kaz hirai1 -

What's the first game I ever played? That would be... um, what's the title? It's the one where you have a bunch of blocks. No, it's not Tetris. You have one paddle here, and you basically try to... [Breakout?] Breakout, yes! That was probably the first game that I ever played, but the first game I spent huge amounts of money investing in, that would be Space Invaders.

Peter Molyneux, creative director at Lionhead and Microsoft Game Studios Europe

molyneux new -

The first proper game was probably Wizardry on the old Apple II. I totally became obsessed with that game, to the point where I lost my girlfriend by playing it - I left her down the pub three times! Because it was on floppy disk... Once, my floppy disk was written off and that night I immediately got in the car and I drove 150 miles to find another Wizardry player so I could get a copy of the disc. It was the first game really that I ever played with levelling-up. It was set in a dungeon, and there was a mad god, and it had spells. It was wireframe, but in my imagination I was down there in that dungeon.

You've got to remember... This is where asking this question to someone like me maybe slightly different to asking other people, because before this there weren't many mechanics in computer games. We were playing Space Invaders and stuff like that, and suddenly this thing comes along where you're not shoving quarters or 10p pieces in. You're there for 100 hours, levelling up and playing from level 1 to level 99. It's just a fantastic feeling. It's the reason Fable's been done. It's such a pure execution of a role-playing game: There's no chaff in the way, this was pure levelling up. I think Wizardry was one of the first games [to have that], and that was then adopted by so many Japanese role-playing games, the Final Fantasy series. So really it gave birth to everything that we've done in the genre.

Motomu Toriyama, director of Final Fantasy XIII-2 (Square Enix)

toriyama -

You probably haven't heard of this game, but you might have heard of Yuji Kori - who is famous for the Dragon Quest series. He created a game called... [struggles for an appropriate translation] Serial Murder Case? It was an old Japanese adventure game set in a poor town in Japan, a very Japanese game. These type of games were very popular before the RPG came into light. That was the first game I played.

Yoshinori Kitase, producer of Final Fantasy XIII-2 (Square Enix)

kitase -

Including arcade games? I can't remember the first game exactly, as such, but the first game that got me really hooked must have been Invaders.

Cliff Bleszinski, designer of Gears of War 3 (Epic Games)

cliffy b -

It was Space Invaders on the Atari 2600. I was about six years old, and we all proceeded to start to doing jumping jacks like one of the Space Invaders did. And if you think about it, Space Invaders was in fact the original cover shooter. I was obsessed with the fact that you could move images on the television. That was when I knew that I wanted to make games.

Dan Ayoub, executive producer of Halo Anniversary (343 Industries)

ayoub -

I was a big board gamer growing up, but if I think back to my biggest video gaming memory, I'd say it was easily Tron: Deadly Discs on the Intellivision. I mean, my first video game was Pong, that was my first video game. I remember my Dad bringing it home and I got all excited about it. But if I think back to as a child, my favourite video gaming memory was definitely Tron. I loved that game, and I was a huge fan of the Intellivision. How old was I? You're killing me, man! You're going to age me! I was probably about 10 or 11 years old. Pong was literally the first, to make me feel really old, but that was probably my most fun childhood gaming memory - playing that and games like Triple Action on the Intellivision. Those were my favourites.

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User Comments

squidman's Avatar

squidman@ Bloodstorm

Me too.
Posted 18:36 on 04 July 2011
altaranga's Avatar


And he didn't even mention Milo once.
Posted 18:15 on 04 July 2011
Bloodstorm's Avatar


I actually can't take anything Peter says seriously.
Posted 17:36 on 04 July 2011
draytone's Avatar


Great article by the way Neon. It's nice to see this sincerity behind the big guns within the industry, and it makes you realise that at heart they are all massive gamers.
Posted 17:09 on 04 July 2011
mydeaddog's Avatar


To be fair, I was talking to him immediately after a Fable presentation. He also drove 150 miles to get a new copy of Wizardry, which is major dedication to the cause!

Although the reality may be that he actually went 15 meters on a bike ;)
Posted 17:06 on 04 July 2011
CheekyLee's Avatar


It is typical of Peter Molyneux that he has twice as much to say about this than anybody else, and still somehow manages to plug Fable!
Posted 11:55 on 03 July 2011
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