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Seamus Blackley

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Name  Seamus Blackley
Role  Video Game Designer

Education  Tufts University
Known for  Flight Unlimited, Xbox
Seamus Blackley smiling closed mouth with blonde hair and wearing a black coat and some earrings.

Full Name  Jonathan Blackley
Occupation  Video game designer, agent
Similar  Ed Fries, Peter Moore, Bill Gates, J Allard, Steve Ballmer
Born  1967/1968 (age 52–53)

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Jonathan "Seamus" Blackley (born 1967 or 1968) is an American video game designer and former agent with Creative Artists Agency representing video game creators.


After entering Tufts University to study electrical engineering, Blackley switched to study physics and graduated in 1990, Summa cum Honore en Tesis. As a sophomore, he published his first paper in the Journal of Magnetic Resonance. After college, he studied High Energy Physics at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, until the Superconducting Supercollider project was cancelled in 1993.

Blackley then went to work at Blue Sky Productions, later called Looking Glass Studios. In addition to his work on Ultima Underworld and System Shock, Blackley helped to create the sophisticated physics system in Flight Unlimited. He is mentioned in the Flight Unlimited manual as follows:

Following the completion of Flight Unlimited in 1995, Blackley planned to use that game's computational fluid dynamics (CFDs) code to create a combat flight simulator called Flight Combat. However, a new manager at Looking Glass Studios demanded that Blackley instead design a direct sequel to Flight Unlimited. Blackley refused and was fired, leaving the company in late 1995.

After Looking Glass, Blackley worked at DreamWorks Interactive as executive producer of Jurassic Park: Trespasser, a physics-rich game published in 1998 (one of the most notorious failures in PC gaming history). In February 1999, Blackley joined Microsoft. Originally hired to work on DirectX, he co-wrote the initial Xbox proposal, and helped assemble the team that designed and built the device. He then promoted the Xbox to game developers around the world.

Blackley left Microsoft in 2002 to co-found Capital Entertainment Group with former Microsoft co-worker Kevin Bachus after his time developing the Xbox. CEG aimed to reform the financing models available in the game industry, following the Hollywood studio model, to provide more flexibility and creative control to game makers, and loosen the grip publishers had on control of the game industry. CEG was unable to complete a game before folding in 2003. In 2007, Blackley received the P.T. Barnum Award from Tufts University for his exceptional work in the field of media and entertainment.

From 2003 through May 2011, Blackley represented video game developers at the Creative Artists Agency, evolving the position of video games within the entertainment industry. As of February 2012, Blackley is president of Innovative Leisure, a startup founded with partner Van Burnham. The company is developing games for iOS devices.

Seamus Blackley smiling and wearing a white long-sleeved polo over a blue shirt.

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Seamus Blackley Wikipedia