Warren Spector, veteran electronic game designer/producer, heads up videogame developer, Junction Point Studios, a division of Disney Interactive.
Warren has worked in the game industry since 1983. After six years at Steve Jackson Games and TSR, creating pen-and-paper games, he joined computer game developer Origin Systems where he produced several games including Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss, Ultima Underworld 2: Labyrinth of Worlds, System Shock, Ultima VII: Part 2, Serpent Isle, Wings of Glory, Bad Blood, Ultima Worlds of Adventure: Martian Dreams, Cybermage and others. After seven years with Origin, Warren did a brief stint with LookingGlass Technologies before founding Ion Storm’s Austin, Texas studio in 1997. At Ion Storm, he produced and directed the award-winning, genre-bending Deus Ex. He later oversaw development of Deus Ex: Invisible War, released in 2003, and Thief: Deadly Shadows, released in 2004. That year, he left Ion Storm to found Junction Point Studios, developing concepts for a variety of video game and motion picture partners before being acquired, in 2007, by The Walt Disney Company. There he directed Disney Epic Mickey, released in 2010. A sequel, Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, will be released in November 2012.
Though now a fixture in the electronic gaming world, Warren’s gaming roots are in the pen-and-paper game business, where he developed TOON: The Cartoon Role-Playing Game (among others) for Steve Jackson Games, and at TSR, where he worked on the Top Secret/SI Espionage role-playing game, The Bullwinkle & Rocky Party Roleplaying Game, and the Buck Rogers Battle for the 25th Century boardgame to name a few.
Warren has been a comic book author (2010’s Duck Tales series “Rightful Owners” for Boom! Studios), a novelist (“The Hollow Earth Affair,” published in 1988), a film reviewer for the Austin Chronicle, an Assistant Instructor for film and television studies at the University of Texas-Austin and the author of numerous magazine and newspaper articles. From 2000-2002, he served on the Board of Directors of the International Game Developers Association and co-chair of the IGDA’s education committee, forging ties between the game business and academic institutions around the world. In 2007, Warren, a frequent lecturer about games, taught the Master Class in Videogames and Digital Media at the University of Texas at Austin and worked with the Briscoe Center for American History to create the UT Video Game Archive, dedicated to the preservation of the medium’s history. In 2012, he was awarded the Game Developers Choice Lifetime Achievement Award as well as an honorary doctorate by Columbia College, Chicago. His work has been featured in exhibits at the Australian Center for the Moving Image in Melbourne and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
Born and raised in New York City, Warren loves books, boardgames and basketball. He plays rhythm guitar in the band “Two-Headed Baby.” He graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL in 1977 with a B.S. in Speech and received his Master of Arts in Radio-Television-Film in 1980, remaining at UT to pursue a Ph.D in communications until the game business lured him away from academia just a dissertation short of a degree. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Caroline.