Steve Meretzky: Biography

When Steve began designing games, music was primarily purchased on vinyl records, mobile phones were the size of a small suitcase, and the Cubs hadn't won the World Series for many, many decades. (Okay, SOME things never change...)

Steve began his game career as a tester, at the legendary adventure game company Infocom, in 1981. A year later, he began designing games, and has been doing so continuously for more than a third of a century.

His first game for Infocom was Planetfall, celebrated in the annals of gaming for its lovable robot sidekick character, Floyd. Other Infocom titles by Steve include Zork Zero, Leather Goddesses of Phobos, A Mind Forever Voyaging, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The latter was a collaboration with Douglas Adams, author of the original work.

Following the demise of Infocom, Steve wrote a number of games for Legend Entertainment, including Superhero League of Hoboken and the Spellcasting trilogy, which featured the adventures of a would-be sorcerer at a school for teaching magic. (And, ahem, this was 8 years or so before the first Harry Potter book...)

In 1994, Steve co-founded Boffo Games, along with fellow MIT alums Mike Dornbrook and Leo DaCosta. During its 3 year existence, Boffo produced two notable games: The Space Bar, a hilarious graphic adventure game, and Hodj 'n' Podj, a collection of mini-games set in a whimsical fairy tale world, presaging the entire casual game explosion that was to follow in another 5 years or so.

Steve spent more than five years as Creative Content Director for, creating casual games for online cash tournaments, and helping to guide it from pre-launch to the point where the site was earning tens of millions of dollars per year. He created numerous original games for WorldWinner, such as Word Cubes, Paint Buckets, and Skillgammon, and also adapted many existing games for tournament play, such as Cubis, Collapse, and Wheel of Fortune.

Steve was one of the pioneers of social free-to-play games, joining the Playdom as it's first employee with game experience, and taking part in a wild ride that saw the company grow to 600 people over the course of the next two years, and get acquired by the Walt Disney Company. Following almost 5 years at Playdom/Disney, Steve returned to WorldWinner's parent company, the Game Show Network, working primarily on social casino titles.

Steve has also worked for publishing giant THQ, for mobile game developer Floodgate Entertainment, and for Blue Fang Games, the creator of the Zoo Tycoon series. Steve has done consulting work for companies throughout the game industry, including Blizzard, Harmonix, Disney, Electronic Arts, Activision, Microprose, and Hasbro.

A frequent speaker at industry events and at colleges and universities, Steve also directs and organizes the Mobile Summit at the Game Developers Conference, the industry's premier annual event. Steve is a charter member of the International Game Developers Association, and served a term on its Board of Directors. He is co-founder of the Boston chapter of the IGDA, known as Post Mortem, one of the first such chapters in the world. He is co-organizer of the annual Game Designers Workshop, which annually brings together the elite of the game design world for a weekend of hobnobbing and deep thinking. Steve is the author of four "choose-your-path" novels for young people, set in the Zork universe, and is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

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Last updated: 9-23-16. Contact