THE head of a computer games studio based in an East Lothian village has collected a prestigious award in Japan after a game he helped develop sold more than two million copies in Asia.
Paddy Burns, CEO of East Linton-based 4J Studios, was at the PlayStation Awards at the Grand Prince Hotel to collect a double platinum award for Minecraft.
That award acknowledges that the game has sold more than two million copies in Asia across the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita consoles.
Mr Burns explained how the county-based business had helped develop the worldwide hit game.
He told the Courier: “Microsoft bought the creators of the Minecraft game [Mojang] for $2.5 billion in 2014 but 4J Studios are independent and develop the console editions of Minecraft for Microsoft on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Wii U.”
At the ceremony in Tokyo, Mr Burns said it was a “great honour” to accept the award.
He said: “I was delighted to receive the award and to visit Japan for the first time.
“I had quite a few Sony people coming up to me at the after show party to thank me for developing the game for Sony consoles and to say how much they enjoy playing the game with their kids.”
And while Mr Burns, who set up 4J Studios with Chris van der Kuyl and Frank Arnot, knew in advance that he would be on stage, he was not aware they were the only recipients of the double platinum award.
He added: “I was told in advance that we were receiving the award but didn’t know we were the only game to have achieved a double platinum award, so that was a nice surprise!
“It caused some surprise that it was a Western game and that there was a Microsoft representative getting an award at a Sony show.”
The 4J Studios console edition versions of Minecraft – which allows players to build with a variety of different cubes in a 3D world – have now sold more than 50 million copies worldwide.
The East Linton office is based in the bottom floor of Mr Burns’ house in the village.
A seven-strong software and internal test team are based in East Linton, while the art and world-building teams are at the company’s Dundee office.