Chris Roberts

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Chris Roberts
Digital Anvil

Chris Roberts, 32, is one of the most recognizable names in entertainment software. As a top grossing game designer, producer, live-action director and, above all, storyteller, Chris blends his vision and technical expertise to keep his projects on the cutting edge of entertainment. At an early age, he became one of England’s best-known game designers and by 1987 had three 3 #1 hits in the United Kingdom: “Match Day,” “Wiz Adore” and “Stryker’s Run”.

Prior to forming Digital Anvil, Chris was vice president of new technology at Origin Systems, Inc. as well as executive producer for Origin’s parent company, Electronic Arts. As a member of Electronic Arts’ development executive staff, he helped formulate the company’s interactive movie and flight simulation strategies. Roberts’ first project during his eight-year tenure at Origin was “Times of Lore,” which hit #1 on Ingram’s Best-Seller list in 1988. He followed that achievement with “Bad Blood,” a post-holocaust role-playing game in 1990.

His next project, “Wing Commander,” skyrocketed to the top of the charts, where it remains today. Chris’ game designs, combined with advances in PC technology, made “Wing Commander the new standard in PC games. “Wing Commander created a whole new genre within the gaming world known as the “interactive movie.”

Since the 1990 launch of the first “Wing Commander,” the series has spawned four full sequels and numerous derivative products combining to generate in sales more than five million units worldwide. In that time, the “Wing Commander series has consistently broken new ground. “Wing Commander III became the industry’s first interactive movie and marked the first extensive use of full motion video in a computer game. “Wing Commander IV” was the first game to use 35-millimeter film for its linear narrative. During production of the “Wing Commander” games III and IV, Roberts directed actors such as Mark Hammill in the lead role of Christopher Blair and Malcolm McDowell as his troubled commander.

In 1993 Chris released “Strike Commander,” a military flight combat simulator. It immediately became an international best seller and showcased Origin’s revolutionary new 3D REALSPACE graphics system, one of the most powerful 3D systems ever produced for the PC. Until “Wing Commander III”, “Strike Commander” was Electronic Arts’ top selling PC game of all time, selling over 500,000 units.

Chris was instrumental in Origin’s growth from a $4 million a year company to nearly $50 million in 1995. His “Wing Commander” product line has accounted for a significant percentage of Origin’s revenues over the past five years, and has generated more than $110 million since it’s creation. To date, “Wing Commander III” has generated more than $30 million in revenue.

Software Highlights from Credited Titles

Chris Roberts's first video game work that SPOnG is aware of is the 1988 title, "Times of Lore" (C64) as Lead Programmer.

Chris's most recent involvement was on the 2000 release "N-Gen Racing" (PlayStation).

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