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Michael Becker

Also Known As

  • Mike Becker
  • Michael J. Becker
  • M. Becker

Game Credits

Design

Battlefield Vietnam (2004)   (Scriptwriter)
The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age (2004)   (Screenwriter/Designer)
Metalizer (1998)   (Additional Level Design)
Nuclear Strike (1997)   (Creative Director)
Soviet Strike (1996)   (Game Design)
Shock Wave (1994)   (Lead Designer)
3rd Degree (1992)   (Director)
Sherlock Holmes in "Another Bow" (1985)   (Brought to your computer by)
 

Programming/Engineering

ANSTOSS 2: Der Fußballmanager (1997)   (3D Game Sequences)
I, Damiano: The Wizard of Partestrada (1985)   (Brought to your computer by)
 

Writers

Battlefield 2 (2005)   (Scriptwriter)
Battlefield Vietnam Redux (2005)   (Scriptwriter)
The Lord of the Rings: Tactics (2005)   (Screenwriter / Designer)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)   (Story & Dialog Designer)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)   (Writer)
Majestic: Special Edition (2001)   (Majestic Content Team)
Shock Wave (1994)   (Script)
 

Art/Graphics

ANSTOSS 2: Der Fußballmanager - Verlänge... (1998)   (3D Match Sequences: Setting)
John Madden Football (1994)   (Art Direction)
Don't Go Alone (1989)   (Art Director)
Sherlock Holmes in "Another Bow" (1985)   (Art Direction by)
Fathom (1983)   (Graphics assisted by)
No Escape! (1983)   (Screen graphics assisted by)
Demon Attack (1982)   (Graphics by)
 

Audio

5 A Day Adventures (2000)   (Sound Design)
ANSTOSS 3: Der Fußballmanager (2000)   (Sound)
ANSTOSS 2 GOLD: Der Fußballmanager (1998)   (Scoring)
In the 1st Degree (1995)   (Music / Sound Programming)
 

Quality Assurance

Dungeon Siege III (2011)   (Senior QA Leads (Germany))
Supreme Commander 2 (2010)   (German QA Lead)
TimeShift (2007)   (Quality Assurance)
Scarface: The World is Yours (2006)   (Testers)
ANSTOSS 3: Der Fußballmanager (2000)   (Playtesting)
Extreme 500 (1998)   (Tester)
ANSTOSS 2: Der Fußballmanager (1997)   (Playtesting)
 

Localization

Dungeon Siege III (2011)   (Senior QA Leads (Germany))
 

Creative Services

Riana Rouge (1997)   (Video Production Crew - California)
Soviet Strike (1996)   (Game Documentation)
 

Support

Majestic: Special Edition (2001)   (Community)
 

Thanks

WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 (2006)   (Special Thanks)
Future Cop L.A.P.D. (1998)   (Special Thanks)
Jane's Combat Simulations: Fleet Command (1998)   (Special Thanks To)
Nuclear Strike (1997)   (Special Thanks)
The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes: Case of the Ros... (1996)   (Special Thanks To the Baker Street Irregulars)
Shockwave Assault (1995)   (Thanks)
Touchdown Football (1984)   (Special Thanks To)
 


Developer Biography

Michael Becker currently serves as writer/designer for Electronic Arts’ Lord of the Rings product line at their headquarters in Redwood Shores, California, where he has been involved in development of all versions of the game that have been released over the last several years. He has just finished writing and directing the massive body of story material for The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age, working with Sir Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis and Christopher Lee in London, and also with a cast of new story characters at EA’s motion-capture facility in Vancouver, British Columbia.

With over thirty years of experience in games and entertainment, Michael works with designers, artists, writers, software teams and production houses throughout EA’s worldwide studio organization.

Previous projects run the spectrum, including a huge number of cartridge and disk-based games, complete online game environments (Rabbit Jack’s Casino and Gridlock for Steve Case), multimedia product launches (Teddy Ruxpin, Lazer Tag), and multiple CD products that range from CDI to today’s systems.

Michael has also been involved in a number of industry firsts. He created of the first group of artists to work with programmers in 1982, the first version of Madden Football in 1984, the first products using digitized graphics, the first parser games with graphics, Apple’s first multimedia products, the first interactive video titles (Sewer Shark and Night Trap), the first CD titles (Third Degree, D&D and Zoltran for CDI), the first teaching kiosks (St. Louis Zoo education system, now in the Smithsonian), and helped spearhead EA’s first CD and online development efforts.

Michael is currently working with EA’s state-of-the-art motion capture team in Canada to perfect ‘performance capture’ techniques that marry the vocal, facial and physical art of actors with next-generation virtual reality experiences. Over the last three decades Mr. Becker has been instrumental in the design of well over a hundred and fifty electronic entertainment products. He was one of the first creative professionals in this emerging industry, transitioning from underground comics to a successful advertising agency career, and then quickly becoming a pioneer in an upstart industry that was to combine traditional media with electronic entertainment. He has hired and worked with hundreds of artists, overseen the investment of tens of millions of dollars in development effort, and helped various Silicon Valley entertainment companies generate hundreds of millions in revenue.

As Art and Creative Director at Imagic -- the video game industry’s second entertainment publishing startup -- Michael saw the first products he worked on earn a staggering $80 million in a few months, transforming Imagic into the fastest growing company in American history. While managing two departments Mr. Becker helped design dozens of cartridge games, established procedures for worldwide language localization, and helped engineer the company’s strategic reorganization toward disk-based products, in cooperation with Bantam Books.

Acquisition of Imagic’s sports games inspired Trip Hawkins and Electronic Arts to embrace interactive sports entertainment. Working with corporations such as Hasbro, Apple, Quantum Computer, Worlds of Wonder, P.F. Magic, and Philips Interactive, Mr. Becker was continually involved in the merging of computer graphics, multimedia, online gaming, and interactive video.

When Michael joined Electronic Arts almost ten years ago, he immediately helped shape EA’s foray into CD publishing on the 3DO system. He worked on the design on several of the first products and helped architect complex rendering, compositing, and digitizing pathways that ultimately resulted in EA’s state-of-the-art Media Lab. He was the first to combine 3D environments with broadcast design for EA Sports, was the first to introduce high-end computer workstations for Studio Artists and the first to hire specialist artists for production teams.

Highlights of Michael’s career at Electronic Arts also include the following:

•Design and art direction of Madden Football for the 3DO, the first successful CD translation of an EA sports franchise. While simultaneously hiring and managing an Art Department of 25, Michael helped direct EA’s Advanced Technology Group as it created the first CD versions of Road Rash, 3D Atlas and PGA Tour. In addition Michael designed the Shockwave series for that platform, a franchise that sold 600K units and was EA’s first foray into product localization.

•For the Playstation Michael co-designed the highly popular series of Strike games - with almost five million units in sales across four platforms (Soviet Strike and Nuclear Strike on the PC, PSX, Saturn and N64). These projects set a new standard for Studio pre-production and effective integration of video and audio into a CD format.

•For the IBM PC Michael worked with the Jane’s Group to bring cutting-edge 3d cinematics to World War II Fighters while assisting on the design and development of several other simulation franchises.

•For the Playstation 2 Michael worked with Tiburon to draft the final design of Madden for the PS2 while also designing for them Bent Axle, an unpublished automotive combat game and Strike Back, a preliminary design for EA’s Baltimore Studio.

•For EA.com Michael worked creatively to develop a wide variety of online products, including design work on Bunny Luv and Online Strike, producing the WorldPlay suite of games to assist Kesmai, designing the first Harry Potter prototypes and working on several other online concepts including LOTR Battle Chess, iFlirt and 7 Cities of Gold.

•For the Synthetic Studio Michael was engaged to develop a robust online community for Majestic in the role of ‘Majestic’s Editor’. This project ultimately involved several hundred sites, a design strategy for integrating fan fiction into the fabric of the game, a unique system of puzzles developed once Majestic launched to provide greater game difficulty, publishing strategies for internal sites and newsletters that provided regular content updates and worked daily with the Majestic Production Team in creating news and web publishing programs. He also wrote and directed several hours of audio content and distributed that material to secret telephone numbers across the country to integrate the game’s backstory into the activities of the community. Unfortunately, September 11th signaled the end of this revolutionary – but sometimes frightening – product delivery system.

•When Electronic Arts obtained the license for Peter Jackson’s LOTR films, Michael joined with Neil Young and began the writing and design of The Two Towers, The Return of the King and now Lord of the Rings: The Third Age games, across all platforms and in all languages. In the role of story director for this franchise Michael has served as EA’s resident expert on all aspects of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fiction, also tracking every image and segment of New Line’s scripts, photography and footage as he crafts the evolving Lord of the Rings saga for the worldwide videogame audience.

In the last two decades Michael has explored four generations of console and CD technology, was in the vanguard of EA’s online publishing efforts and has been repeatedly involved in the design of new interactive experiences for next-generation consumer hardware. He currently lives in Half Moon Bay with his wife and mother-in-law, an undisclosed number of cats, and Cleo, a very poorly trained three-month old Beagle.

Last updated: Apr 08, 2005