Charles Cecil MBE is a video game designer and co-founder of Revolution Software. Cecil was brought to the Democratic Republic of the Congo when he was still very young, but was evacuated at two years after Mobutu Sese Seko's coup d'etat. He was then educated at Bedales School in Hampshire, England. In 1980 he began his studies in mechanical engineering at Manchester University, where he met student Richard Turner who invited him to write some text adventures for Artic Computing. After completing his degree in 1985 he decided to continue his career in game development and became director of Artic. In the following year he established Paragon Programming, a game development company working with British publisher U.S. Gold. In 1987 he moved into publishing as software development manager for U.S. Gold. One year later he was approached by Activision and was offered the position of manager of their European development studio.
In 1990, Cecil founded Revolution with Tony Warriner, David Sykes and Noirin Carmody. Originally located in Hull, the company moved to York in 1994. Cecil became Revolution's managing director and would focus on writing and design. For the company's first title, Lure of the Temptress (1992), Cecil conceived with others an innovative game engine, called Virtual Theatre, that was designed by Tony Warriner. Cecil's interest in cinematic techniques and technical developments became manifest in Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars and the games that followed. Broken Sword 1 was a 2D point-and-click game, but by the end of the nineties Cecil took the company to 3D games with direct control, including Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon (2003). In 2004 a project didn't get signed and he had no other option than to let everyone go. Nevertheless, he could continue to design by implementing the so-called "Hollywood model", in which each time a team is assembled to create a movie. For the fourth Broken Sword game, Broken Sword: The Angel of Death, he decided to work with Sumo Digital. By the end of the decade new developments made it possible to renew the back catalog of Revolution, and in 2011 Develop ranked Revolution Software among the top 50 most successful development studios in the world. Currently Revolution is working on Broken Sword - The Serpent's Curse.
Lure of the Temptress was followed by a string of critically and commercially successful adventure games, including Beneath a Steel Sky, the Broken Sword series, In Cold Blood and Gold and Glory: The Road to El Dorado. Beneath a Steel Sky and the Broken Sword series are often referred to as one of the best adventures of all time, appearing on numerous "top" adventure game lists and receiving several awards and nominations. Sales of Broken Sword 1 and 2 have made over $100 million USD and have sold over 3 million copies worldwide. New versions were downloaded by over 4 million people in 2011. Cecil worked on various adventure games outside Revolution, including The Da Vinci Code and Doctor Who: The Adventure Games.
Cecil is currently operating as managing director of Revolution. He co-founded Game Republic in 2003 and has been a director on the board. He is a member of the advisory committee for the renewed Game Republic, and has been on the advisory panel of the Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival. He is member of the advisory panel of the Evolve and Develop Conference, a board member of Screen Yorkshire, and a member of Skillset's Computer Games Skills Council. He regularly talks at events and to mainstream press about creative and commercial aspects of the gaming industry. In 2006, he was awarded the status of "Development Legend" by Develop. He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 2011 Birthday Honours for services to the video game industry.