Ian Livingstone: Failure Is Success-In-Progress


The gaming industry’s founding father connects learning and failures to the roadmap for India’s success in the industry.

You might not know him by name but you have probably heard of games developed by him like Tomb Raider, Hitman, Deus Ex and Thief by Eidos.

Ian Livingstone is perhaps best known as the author of the Fighting Fantasy game books and one of the founders of Games Workshop - the company behind some of the most popular tabletop games. For the record, Livingstone is also closely associated with Eidos; he was a board member of the videogame company and was the only person to be retained when Eidos was acquired by Square Enix.

Livingstone, who was in India recently, said creativity starts at an early age, as early as school. “For creativity to flourish, you need connected learning, collaboration, problem solving. I would like people to fail in safe environment and not be afraid of failures. For me, failure is success as work-in-progress,” he says.

Livingstone founded Games Workshop in 1975, co-created Fighting Fantasy, a series of role play games books, and was also life president of Eidos, the publisher of Tomb Raider, which is why he calls himself Lara Croft’s ‘father’.

He says that children should be able to imagine and the imagination should be left to run wild. “That’s how creativity at its best takes place.”

Livingstone believes the gaming industry is ready to take the next step in India with local players getting ready to build their own IP. He, however, added that the Indian industry is still small enough and studios are only as good as their last project, which, in itself, is a fair amount of risk.

Livingstone strongly feels that the government needs to take a more active interest in promoting the industry. He also says that games have a historical and cultural impact that becomes the reason for its connectivity with players.

He also believes that there is a rapid shift of interest in India from various age groups, which is a positive indication for the industry. And he says that after Apple came out with the swipe and roll facilities in the games, it has become all the more easy to use fun to play.

Talking about his personal favourites, Livingstone says that Plunder Pirates is what he is enjoying the most right now.

Livingstone also firmly believes that there would be an explosion of gaming content on apps stores in the next few years.

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