He's been coding since 1987 so he isn't an overnight success. Peter Molyneux's name conjures up memories of many classics such as Populous, Syndicate, Magic Carpet, Theme Park, Dungeon Keeper, the like-or-hate Black and White and the recently released Xbox RPG Fable.

Molyneux has now received an OBE in the New Year Honours List, alongside many medal-winning Olympians, for services to the computer games industry.

“It's come completely out of the blue," he said, "I never would have guessed that I'd have that kind of honour."

The Bullfrog years ran for a decade, allowing development of sequels to almost every one of the titles listed above, before Molyneux left to found Lionhead Studios in 1997. Following Fable's release, work continues on the Black and White sequel and the film project, The Movies. Now that a major industry figure has been recognised by the establishment at the end of gaming's biggest year, Molyneux must be extra careful to translate his early enthusiasm in previews, to the finished product in the box. It's lonely at the top, but then again Lionhead is one of those developers with the freedom to break its own rules.