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(Pocket-lint) - Michael Acton Smith, founder of Firebox and Mind Candy, and creative mind behind the incredibly successful Moshi Monsters franchise, has been made an OBE in the New Year's Honours list.

Other UK tech and web industry figureheads to be recognised on this year's list include ex-ARM CEO Warren East, who now sits on the board of Dyson, among others, and the Netmums website co-founders Sarah Russell, Siobhan Freegard and Cathy Court. The last three also receive OBEs, while East gets a CBE.


Moshi Monsters has been a global success story since 2009, with a new animated movie hitting cinemas at the end of 2013. The online community aimed at six to 12 year-olds has over 80 million registered users worldwide, but struggled when initially set-up against competition from the US, such as Disney's Club Penguin.

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READ: Pocket-lint's Michael Acton Smith interview

Acton Smith also struggled with his original idea and game, Perplex City, which revolved around a real-life treasure hunt to find £100,000 by deciphering clues hidden in trading cards, text messages, online and at specially arranged events. It almost bankrupted Mind Candy after the first season of the game and was ditched in favour of a simpler concept aimed at kids. Thus Moshi Monsters was born.

Also honoured are Joanna Shields, the chief executive of Tech City UK, and Dr Hamid Mughal, director of global manufacturing at Rolls-Royce. They each receive OBEs.

Writing by Rik Henderson.