Successful and rich entrepreneur, one-time author and game designer, co-founder of Games Workshop
(with Steve Jackson
) and the Fighting Fantasy
series of gamebooks (which spawned over 50 books and a slew of imitations).
After briefly lending his name to some hintbooks for 16-bit Sega games, Livingstone helped to form games publisher Eidos from the remains of Domark. This publisher's success has largely been dependent on cash cows such as the Tomb Raider series (who'd have thought a simple platform game with some cheap titillation would be successful?), and Sports Interactive's Championship Manager franchise (which Eidos have been criticised heavily for taking too much credit for).
These lucrative mainstays have allowed Eidos to invest in developers such as Ion Storm (with mixed results), but have proven a risky strategy, with the company's value fluctuating wildly at times when they have had little new product on the shelves.
Ian Livingstone is definitely a shrewd businessman, but knows very little about computer games. An early Eidos effort that he was heavily involved in, Deathtrap Dungeon, was a disaster, and he has made several rather ill-informed predictions in interviews (see PC Zone issue #86 for good examples).