Studio: Rockstar North
Current Project: Grand Theft Auto V
Career Highlight: Red Dead Redemption
Shaping the future by: Closing the gap between games and film
Houser is the mind behind Rockstar's core titles, including all of the GTAs - and was named one of Time's most influential people of 2009, along with brother Sam.
Studio: People Can Fly
Current Project: Gears Of War: Judgement
Career Highlight: Bulletstorm
Shaping the future by: Putting brains in meathead shooters
People Can Fly's creative director made a smart, tight score-attack shooter and dressed it in lashings of meatheadedness. Nothing else plays like Bulletstorm. Expect him to redefine the Gears formula too.
Current Project: Half-Life 3
Career Highlight: Half-Life 2
Shaping the future by: Changing shooters and the way games sell
1998's Half-Life transformed the shooter forever with its unique - now much copied - approach. Half-Life never let the player out of its world, instead telling tales with clever environmental clues and glimpses of real-time events. Then, in 2003, Valve released the shop / update / multiplayer hub program Steam, getting digital distribution right many years before the rest even began getting it wrong. A former Microsoft employee, Newell has hired some of the best minds out there and overseen triumphs such as Half-Life 2 and the Portal series.