Andrew Gower

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Andrew Christopher Gower[1] was the lead developer and co-founder of Jagex Ltd., a Java-based game distributor and creator. His most famous creation is the MMORPG game RuneScape, created during his time at the University of Cambridge.[2]

Life and career[edit | edit source]

Gower has programmed a variety of games, often creating the graphics and music with the help of his brothers, Paul and Ian Gower. In 1995, he created a 3D platform game called Parallax Painter for the Atari ST.[3] This was followed in 1996 by a 3D first-person shooter called Destruction Imminent for the same system.[4] He then began programming in Java, and created a series of Java games from 1997 to 1999, most of which appeared on the website Games Domain. This included several single player games and a 3D castle (called Games Domain Castle with an interface similar to that of Wolfenstein 3D) with a variety of classic multiplayer games.[5] Games Domain was later bought out by Yahoo! and was eventually shut down.

He then created an isometric RPG, again in Java, called DeviousMUD. This game was the fore-runner to RuneScape, which he created from a similar concept, this time as an MMORPG, in 2001. The original version of RuneScape is now better known as RuneScape Classic, which was kept online until August 2018 but only with limited access. With the help of the company he founded to develop and operate the game, Jagex, a graphical and engine rewrite was completed in 2004, which was named RuneScape 2 in development and is now commonly known as RuneScape.[6] Along with Paul, he developed most of the early game, including its skills and areas. He may also have developed Bounty Worlds, having signed their news post. In 2009 and 2010, he was also heavily involved with the design of Dungeoneering.

In December 2010, Andrew left the Jagex board of directors.[7] During 2011, he was the principal architect of Jagex. 

In November of 2011, he was removed from the RuneScape credits and no longer had any holdings in Jagex. This caused some controversy among some users, with players believing that he should be credited for creating the original game. However, since the end of 2012, a name appeared in the credits for RuneScape under the game engine team - "Andrew G".

Currently, he's working on a new company, Fen Research Ltd, which he founded in 2010. According to the company website, they're working on a new online game, containing user created content.

Recognition[edit | edit source]

The Sunday Times Rich List 2007 ranked Andrew and his brother Paul as the 654th richest entrepreneurs in the UK, worth £196 million.[8] In 2008, The Daily Telegraph listed them as the UK's eleventh richest young entrepreneurs.[9] Andrew and Paul Gower were awarded the Industry Legend prize at the 2010 Develop Awards.[10]

Media appearances[edit | edit source]

Gower Brothers Q&A - Where it All BeganLivestream6 January 2016
RuneFest 2011: "A Decade of Gielinor" HighlightsVideo7 November 2011
RuneFest 2011: Game PlayVideo7 November 2011
RuneFest 2011: Highlights!Video1 November 2011
RuneScape 18th Birthday - The Origins of RS Q&ALivestream14 January 2019
Story Time with the Gower Brothers & Mods Ash, Mark, Mat K & MayleaLivestream7 January 2016

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Andrew was one of only three Jagex Moderators to have had a username that didn't begin with "Mod" (it was simply "Andrew"). The other two belonged to his brothers, Paul and Ian.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ Cambridge University Reporter. Congregations of the Regent House on 29 June, 30 June, and 1 July 2000. University of Cambridge. (Archived from the original on 16 July 2012.)
  2. ^ Rune to move. The Guardian. Guardian Unlimited. (Archived from the original on 1 September 2013.)
  3. ^ Parallax Painter. Atari Legend. 1995. (Archived from the original on 16 December 2007.)
  4. ^ Destruction Imminent. Atari Legend. 1996. (Archived from the original on 30 May 2021.)
  5. ^ Single Player Web Games. Games Domain. 2002. (Archived from the original on 14 June 2002.)
  6. ^ Jagex. "RS2 Launched!." 29 March 2004. RuneScape News.
  7. ^ Jagex Ltd.: Board of Directors. Businessweek. 2011. (Archived from the original on 10 January 2013.)
  8. ^ Andrew and Paul Gower. Times Online. 2007.Lost reference*
  9. ^ Tomkinson, Martin. The UK's richest young entrepreneurs: 30-11. The Telegraph. (Archived from the original on 7 January 2015.)
  10. ^ Will Freeman in Brighton. Develop Awards: Gowers crowned Industry Legends. Develop. (Archived from the original on 11 January 2013.)