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Molyneux named in New Year Honours list

Veteran developer surprised by prestigious British honour.

Lionhead founder Peter Molyneux has been made an OBE in the Queen's New Years Honours list, with the honour being granted to the veteran developer for services to the computer games industry.

Speaking to the BBC, Molyneux expressed surprise at his naming on the list, saying that "it's come completely out of the blue... I never would have guessed that I'd have that kind of honour."

Molyneux founded Lionhead Studios in 1997, and since then has been instrumental in the creation of successful titles Black & White and Fable. Prior to that, he was a founder of legendary Guildford-based developer Bullfrog, which created hits such as Populous, Theme Park, Syndicate, Magic Carpet and Dungeon Keeper, and was ultimately sold to Electronic Arts.

He isn't the first British game developer to be granted an OBE, however - Argonaut founder and keen entrepreneur Jez San is a previous recipient of the honour, which was instituted by King George V in 1917.

The New Year Honours are granted by the Queen on advice from the Prime Minister, who receives nominations from ministers or from members of the public, and are awarded for exceptional merit or service.

It's a common misconception, particularly outside the UK, that the OBE, which stands for Officer of the British Empire, allows the recipient to be referred to as "Sir" - in fact, this distinction refers to the award of Knights Bachelor. No "Sir Peter", then (at least not yet); instead Molyneux will become Peter Molyneux OBE from now on.

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