Chris Downend

Moby ID: 6317

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Chris graduated from UC Berkeley with a BS in EECS, and began programming games at Atari - the coin-op variety. While at Atari, he branched out to console games and produced and ported Ed Logg's amazing GauntletM.nibt< to NES along with a few other games. He also executive produced some of the great coin-op games like Cyberball, 720 and Rampart (created by John Salwitz and Dave Ralston and team) and he also worked on Marble Madness with Mark Cerny and Bob Flanagan. And lots more.

By 1993, Chris moved to consumer/console games 100% and joined the 3DO Company. He produced Twisted, brainchild of Jim Eisenstein, before stepping into an overall Studio management role.

The Playstation beckoned and Chris moved to Accolade to exec produce multi-platform games for the Playstation, Dreamcast, and PC with some notable successes including the Test Drive franchise. In particular, Chris guided the development of Test Drive 4, 5 and 6 with an awesome developer in England: The Pitbull Syndicate.

Accolade was purchased by Infogrames, and Infogrames subsequently changed names to Atari while consolidating studios. When the San Jose studio closed, Chris stayed on long enough (working with Ken George and Matthew Guzenda) in Santa Monica to finish and launch some of the first Xbox games like Transworld Surf and Test Drive Overdrive.

After a brief stint as a development director at Maxis, Chris joined Namco Hometek as executive producer for external development in 2004. When the Namco internal studio director resigned, Chris was asked to manage the internal studio and oversee the platform transition to “next gen” PS3 and Xbox360 platforms. Chris hand-picked a small internal team to develop the core technology for the next gen platforms and guided conceptual work to port Flagship’s Hellgate: London PC game to console.

When a long-time colleague at Global VR asked Chris to join Global and produce a NASCAR racing game for coin-op (sublicensed from EA), the temptation was too great and Chris joined Global VR. The challenge of converting a pure simulation-style racing game to the user friendly and forgiving requirements of the casual player that dominates today’s arcade, was a challenging task.

Chris and his team delivered one of Global VR’s hottest games in Sept. 2007. Since then, Chris has been working on the sequel. As for what lies ahead beyond 2008, only time will tell.

Credited on 37 games

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Dead to Rights II (2005, PlayStation 2) Executive Producer
SRS: Street Racing Syndicate (2004, Windows) Executive Producer
Test Drive (2002, Xbox) Executive Producer
TransWorld Surf (2002, PlayStation 2) Director Product Development
Test Drive: Off-Road - Wide Open (2001, PlayStation 2) Director of Product Development
Test Drive 2001 (2000, Game Boy Color) Director of Pd. Racing
Demolition Racer: No Exit (2000, Dreamcast) Racing Director
Test Drive: Cycles (2000, Game Boy Color) Director of Product Development
Test Drive: Off-Road 3 (2000, Game Boy Color) Executive Producer
Test Drive 6 (1999, PlayStation) Executive Producer
Test Drive 6 (1999, Game Boy Color) Executive Producer
Demolition Racer (1999, Windows) Production
Redline (1999, Windows) Executive Producer
Big Air (1998, PlayStation) Executive Producer
Test Drive: Off-Road 2 (1998, Windows) Executive Producer
Test Drive 5 (1998, PlayStation) Executive Producer
Test Drive 4 (1997, Windows) Photography
Test Drive: Off-Road (1997, PlayStation) Executive Producer
PO'ed (1996, PlayStation) Executive Producer
Scrabble (1996, Windows) Support

[ full credits ]

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