Demis Hassabis is a child prodigy. He taught himself chess at four years old and at the age of twelve, he was the highest-ranking player of his age in the world. He finished his A-levels at fifteen. At seventeen, he co-created Theme Park
with videogame veteran Peter Molyneux
. Afterwards, he picked up a double first in computer science from Cambridge University and then helped Molyneux set up Lionhead Studios
He left soon, though, after some creative disputes and set up his own company: Elixir Studios
. These bold steps at such a young age were inspired by his father, who started an educational toy company. Demis explains: ‘I’ve never been worried about taking risks, I guess my parents have been doing that all their lives. Throw me in the deep end and I’ll learn how to swim. In the paddling pool, I’ll just do what is necessary to paddle. I love new challenges. I haven’t found anywhere yet where I have drowned – but we’ll see.’
In June 2003, he handed his CEO position to Mark Hewitt to spend more time on the game development itself. The studio was closed in 2005, and Demis Hassabis is currently concentrating on some neuro-science research, as his main passion along with games was AI. He is also working on a yet to be announced gaming project.
- Evil Genius (2004), Sierra Entertainment, Inc.
- Republic: The Revolution (2003), Eidos, Inc.
- Theme Park (1994), Electronic Arts, Inc.
- Syndicate (1993), Electronic Arts, Inc.
- Syndicate: American Revolt (1993), Electronic Arts, Inc.