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  • Sarah Williams is a huge fan of Shin Megami Tensei. She eventually lands the role of Jack Frost (her favorite demon) for SMT Apocalypse and Persona 5.
  • Peter Serafinowicz of Darth Maul fame, also happens to be a huge Dark Souls fan and wishes to voice the characters. His wish was granted; in Dark Souls II he voices Mild-Mannered Pate.
  • Evan Stanley, the creator of the Sonic the Hedgehog web comic Ghosts of the Future, was eventually hired on to draw parts of the Archie comic series and a Sonic Boom spinoff comic.
  • Dean "Rocket" Hall was an ARMA 2 modder hired on by the developer Bohemia Interactive to work on ARMA 3 multiplayer, but on the side was working on an "persistent open-world" project called DayZ — when its hype (and ARMA 2/Operation Arrowhead sales) took off, he became the "celebrity" of the devs and by far the most famous, and is rumored to have been removed from the dev team to work on the mod full-time.
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    • "Smookie" is another modder — most known for his "SMK Animations" mod — who was hired on for ARMA 3 development, and is the inspiration for (if not personally implementing) the revamped animations systems.
    • Many people may have been introduced to the ARMA series from the YouTube videos put out by Andrew 'Dslyecxi' Gluck, founder of the ARMA group ShackTactical. He is now making several video guides for ARMA 3 as well as creating a Tactics, Techniques, & Procedures guide for the game which is available free online or as a paid PDF or physical book (both of which have extra content the free version lacks).
  • Actress Lacey Chabert is a huge fan of the Sonic the Hedgehog games when she was growing up, and because of it, she was cast as Princess Elise in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).
  • Tigole and Furor, or Kaplan and Alex Afrasiabi respectively, were famous as elite EverQuest guild leaders. Both were hired by Blizzard to work on World of Warcraft as game designers.
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  • Dave "Fargo" Kosak, artist of a World of Warcraft Fan Webcomic, Flintlocke's Guide to Azeroth, was hired to become World of Warcraft's lead quest designer.
  • Valve likes to hire the makers of successful fan-made mods. Both the makers of Team Fortress and Counter-Strike have been hired in this fashion. Also hired was Adam Foster, who single-handedly created the Minerva: Metastasis single-player map.
    • Another Valve example. Portal was developed in its earliest guise by a team of game design students as part of their course. Valve liked it so much, they reportedly hired the students to make a full version for the company. You no doubt know the rest... They did this again, hiring another team from the same game design school for implementation of new gameplay elements in Portal 2 (more precisely, the gels)!
    • Yet Another Valve example: Big Name Fan Makani designed her own version of the (then unseen) Administrator from Team Fortress 2. Valve bought the design off her and made it canon, and then hired her to do the Loose Canon comic for the Engineer update.
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    • Left 4 Dead fan and mapmaker Matthew Lourdelet impressed Valve so much with his map pack "Evil Eyes" that they officially hired him to create the "Cold Stream" campaign, and added it to their official rotation of online maps.
    • IceFrog, a developer on Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars, a Warcraft 3 mod, was hired by Valve as lead designer on Dota 2, which is a game in its own right.
    • Valve has actually gotten so famous for this that many fans have begun to speculate if and when they'll hire the creators of the Black Mesa mod.
    • Hell, Valve doesn't even restrict this to only modders. Once upon a time in the nineties, there was a cyberpunk sci-fi writer who fell in love with Myst and Thief, deciding that he wants to try his hand at making a video game himself. So in 1997, he joined Valve. Who was he, you ask? Marc Laidlaw, head writer of Half-Life and Half-Life 2, as well as co-writer of the Episodes and Portal.
  • Steve "Guinsoo" Feak, creator of Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars, a very popular Warcraft 3 mod, became a designer for Riot Games' League of Legends. Steve "Pendragon" Mescon, creator of the DotA fansite www.dota-allstars.com, became the Director of Community Relations at Riot Games. As mentioned in the section on Valve, Dota developer IceFrog, who keeps his real name private, was hired to work on Valve's Dota 2.
  • id Software's ranks consist of many developers who started out modding for Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake such as Tim Willits, lead designer of Doom 3 and creative director of the company, who started off his career making custom levels for the original Doom and getting noticed by id.
  • Before joining Konami and making a name for himself as the character and mechanical designer for the Metal Gear series, Yoji Shinkawa was a big fan of Gradius. When working on mechanical designs for the second Zone of the Enders game, he went on to include Gradius's flagship, the Vic Viper, as a Transforming Mecha, having always imagined the two protruding front sections of the ship as a mech's legs.
  • Epic Games, which is still one of the biggest examples about hiring people from their own community. Look at the Unreal page for the details. Another example would be Lusted, long time Total War modder and author of one of Medieval 2's largest mods, who was hired by Creative Assembly to work on their next TW game.
  • Neverwinter Nights is all about its custom editor. BioWare regularly skims the community for their most famous works and offers them jobs. Some groups formed around mod-making may also develop into studios, such as Ossian Studios.
  • Dominic Armato was a fan of the first two Monkey Island games, which may have given him his edge over the other guy when they were casting Guybrush Threepwood's voice actor.
  • Russian cosplayer Anna "Ormeli" Moleva did such a convincing job at recreating Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite that Irrational hired her to do promotional material. They even made modifications to the character so as to match up with Moleva's appearance.
  • Wizards of the Coast held a contest in 2006 where the winner got a job designing for Magic: The Gathering. More notably, the three finalists (Ken Nagle, Graeme Hopkins, and Alexis Janson) impressed Mark Rosewater so much that all three are now working at WotC. So are at least three more participants.note 
    • Earlier, and even more remarkable: A Magic player named Gregory Marques showed up at the sidelines of a major tournament in 2003 with his own custom-designed expansion set of Magic cards, cheerfully inviting fellow players to try his cards out and give him feedback. Rosewater was impressed with Marques' design ambitions, and he had Wizards of the Coast hire him to join the design team of an actual set (which ended up becoming Fifth Dawn).
    • Heck, Mark Rosewater himself was once a mere fanboy. Also, many other members of Wizards R&D are former Pro Tour players.
  • Sam Riegel was a big fan of the Ace Attorney series, even before being cast as Phoenix Wright for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (and reprising the role for the English releases of the Ace Attorney games that followed).
  • Matthew Mercer got a double dose of fanboy promotion! First: he was a big fan of Resident Evil who got to voice Leon S. Kennedy in Resident Evil 6. Second: he created the web series There Will Be Brawl, based on Super Smash Bros., then reprised his role as Chrom for the character's appearance in Super Smash Bros., starting as a cameo in the 3DS and Wii U iteration of the game before being Promoted to Playable in Ultimate.
  • Xander Mobus, the Announcer of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, grew up on the series since the first release on the Nintendo 64 and describes getting the role as "one of the greatest moments of [his] career".
  • Yuki Kaji is a big fan of Super Smash Bros. and Dragon Quest who got to do voicework for both as the Hero from Dragon Quest VIII in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • Anthony Burch of Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin'? fame now works for Gearbox, and has served as the head writer of Borderlands 2. His sister and co-star, Ashly, worked on the same game as the voice of Tiny Tina. The entire Burch family, including Ensemble Dark Horse Papa Burch, would later appear as DLC in Saints Row IV.
  • A few modders that worked on the Xtended Mod for X3: Reunion were picked up by Egosoft to develop the mod's "official" release in X3: Terran Conflict.
    • And then some modders who worked on Xtended for Terran Conflict were picked up for X3: Albion Prelude.
  • Vin Diesel was such a fan of video gaming that he started up his own video game production company, Tigon. Their first game? The critically acclaimed The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, based on Diesel's The Chronicles of Riddick series and a huge aversion of The Problem with Licensed Games.
  • Laura Bailey has had this happen twice:
    • Of all the voice actresses who auditioned for the role of Chun-Li in Street Fighter IV, she was the only one who was familiar with the character beforehand.
    • She was also an avid The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim player before being cast as Serana in the Dawnguard DLC.
  • Fallout:
    • The Unwashed Villagers, a group of Interplay's original Fallout forum goers who dealt with spammers and trolls, were included in a special encounter in Fallout 2 where they battle a notorious troll of the forums.
    • Roshambo, a then-moderator of No Mutants Allowed who was vocal of his criticisms of Fallout Tactics during production, was included in said game as a crazy old man and Brotherhood of Steel paladin who warned the Brotherhood of Steel elders that the storms would bring down the airships, which they did. His appearance in the game might as well be more of a Take That! at his Fan Dumbness though.
    • Actor Matthew Perry has stated in interviews that he was a very big fan of Fallout 3 and played the game fanatically to the point his hands started aching. This led to him getting a role in Fallout: New Vegas as Benny, a major antagonist.
    • The main creator of the Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul mod for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was promoted to the New Vegas development team.
  • Nintendo Power writer Steven Grimm gave Animal Crossing: Wild World an amazing 9.5 review and mentioned that he loved the game. Nearly three years later, you can spot his name in the credits of Animal Crossing: City Folk.
  • Falcoon used to draw fan art for fighting game series like Street Fighter and The King of Fighters. He ended up drawing official art for the latter. Falcoon also became the producer and main artist for the Alternate Continuity of the main KOF series, the Maximum Impact series.
  • The Kingdom Hearts Japanese-only novelizations have been stated by Tetsuya Nomura to be non-canonical and simply, like the manga, an adaptation authorized by Square. However, the novel writer, Tomoco Kanamaki, became a promoted fangirl when she was brought on to write the scenario for Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days (however, in fears of any Running the Asylum happening, Nomura did actually edit and rewrite the whole thing himself after she was through).
  • Katsuhiro Harada, the chief producer of the Tekken series since Tekken 3, is also a fanboy of The iDOLM@STER. One of the cards in Million Live for Iori Minase, his favorite character, has him photobombing as Iori and Kotoha Tanaka cosplay as Tekken characters Lili and Asuka, respectively.
  • Several Fan Translation translators have moved onto actual game or anime translations, including Clyde Mandelin, a.k.a. Tomato (MOTHER 3, Bahamut Lagoon, Star Ocean), who now works for Funimation, and Nora Stevens Heath (Live A Live) who is a freelancer and has done work on Kingdom Hearts II and Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions.
  • Robbie Daymond was inspired to become a voice actor after listening to Tidus's voice in Final Fantasy X. He has since gone on to do voice work in the Final Fantasy series, first as Kurasame Susaya in the HD re-release of Final Fantasy Type-0, then as fan-favorite Prompto Argentum in Final Fantasy XV.
  • City of Heroes has Dr. Aeon, the new developer in charge of the Mission Architect system, who was a longtime player and prolific author on that system.
    • Before that, the developer Castle was just a normal player that managed to get into the development team and became a popular presence in the forum community. A few years after he joined the staff, the Castle character was created and appeared in one of the comics as well as being permanently added to the game as a trainer in Peregrine Island.
    • The player Ascendant became popular in the community for appearing at tram stations at random times and doing elaborate sketches in which Ascendant dealt with cell phone calls to people such as his mother, his agent/uncle, and other people that vexed him. After some time, the devs acknowledged the popularity of the sketches with random NPC dialog that suggested people seeking Ascendant were calling the wrong number. In Issue 19 of the comic, Ascendant appeared (along with fellow Promoted Fanboy Castle) in a short scene with Positron.
  • Capcom enlisting the entire OC Re Mix community for the soundtrack of Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix.
  • Voice actor Bryce Papenbrook is a big fan of Final Fantasy. His favorite game in the series is Final Fantasy VI, and he was excited for the chance to voice Zidane Tribal in Dissidia Final Fantasy.
  • Successful entrepreneurs sometimes succeed in the very themes they wanted to be in since childhood or work on what they've wanted since joining the workforce. Tycho and Gabe of Penny Arcade are gamers who now host an exposition for gamers and make games with Hothead Games.
  • Sean "Day[9]" Plott, a once-progamer and strategy analyst for StarCraft and a long-time fan of the game, is now promoting the expansion Starcraft II Heart Of The Swarm through "Battle Reports" - replays from the expansion casted along with Rob Simpson, a Blizzard-employed caster.
  • Jack Black loved Psychonauts, which helped him land the main role in Brütal Legend.
  • Ben Croshaw a.k.a. Yahtzee made, considered and ranted about games for years, and begged the industry at large for a job before coming up with Zero Punctuation. One month later he's in The Escapist and at some point he ended up writing for PC Gamer as well.
  • Nobuhiro Watsuki, creator of popular anime and manga such as Rurouni Kenshin, Busou Renkin and Gun Blaze West, mentioned early in Rurouni Kenshin that he was hooked on the Samurai Shodown series and bought a Neo Geo CD just to play it. In 2003, SNK hired him to design new characters for Samurai Shodown V.
  • Reportedly, this is how Neversoft took over development of the Guitar Hero series: when Activision bought RedOctane but MTV bought Harmonix (the series' original developers), Activision was apparently wondering what to do with the Guitar Hero license, at which point Neversoft stood up and said "Hey, we're such big fans of Guitar Hero that we played it on breaks while we were working on Tony Hawk! We can totally do it!" Reactions to their treatment of the series has been, well, mixed but it worked out in Activision's favor big time... for a short while.
  • Video game designer Warren Spector is a long-time Disney geek; by his own admission though, he kept that a secret, mainly because of the Animation Age Ghetto. The fact that Disney managed to get a big fan like him on board a project that aims to make Mickey Mouse relevant in this present era was coincidental; they sought him for his resume alone (after all, he was responsible for Deus Ex), being unaware of his fanboy aspect at first. Either way, he put his geekiness to extremely good use there.
  • Much like the Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix example above, a couple of old school Street Fighter players have gone on to bigger things:
    • Joey Cuellar, a.k.a. Mr. Wizard, runs Shoryuken.com as well as the EVO Championship Series. The latter has gone on to become one of the biggest fighting game tournaments in the world.
    • Tony Cannon, a.k.a. Ponder, developed the GGPO netcode to allow fans to play emulated fighting games online without lag time. The system was so successful that Capcom has licensed it and even had Ponder as a consultant for some of their games.
    • David Sirlin was the lead designer for the aforementioned HD Remix.
    • Probably the biggest success is Seth "S-Kill" Killian who once worked for Capcom as their Community Manager and ran their official blog/forum site, Capcom-Unity. The (SNK) boss of Street Fighter IV, Killian, was named after him as well. He was also the "Special Fighting/Combat Adviser" for Capcom's fighting games from Street Fighter IV to his departure. He would later join Sony Santa Monica in an actual game design position.
    • In a similar (non-Capcom) vein, arcade stick fanatic Mark Julio, a.k.a. Markman, was hired by controller manufacturer MadCatz to work on their Street Fighter IV-branded controllers. Julio's knowledge of arcade sticks and guidance made the company's FightSticks the premier American-manufactured arcade stick for fighting games.
    • 1UP.com's Neidel Crisan used to simply post his own articles on fighting games on sites like Shoryuken.com and iPlayWinner before being hired to do fighting game reviews for the aforementioned site. His reviews on 1UP.com are now considered to be the only ones worth reading when it comes to fighting games. He was eventually, alongside fellow player Peter "ComboFiend" Rosas, hired by Capcom to act as community managers after Killian's departure.
  • Skullgirls:
    • A man currently living the fighting game fan's dream is Mike "MikeZ" Zaimont. Originally known for his expert play of Iron Tager and doing REAL SOVIET DAMAGE (yes, he is the meme starter), he is now the director and lead programmer of his own game — a Guilty Gear and Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes-inspired fighting game known as Skullgirls.
    • Skullgirls features vocal talent from many a Big Name Fan, such as Cristina Valenzuela (previously mentioned in the "Anime and Manga" section of this page) and Kira Buckland, who got her start on fandubs and web animations such as the Metal Gear Awesome series.
    • ZONE, a well-known Rule 34 flash animator, was hired by Lab Zero after they saw an animation she did of the game's hero Filia that emulated the art style very closely; she was then contracted to work on animation for the DLC characters.
    • For Beowulf, the 4th DLC character, Lab Zero ended up selecting Kai Kennedy, a fan/player of the game itself. He was not a trained voice actor, but rather, was known by the team for a fan video he had produced over a year prior.
  • Dragon Ball Xenoverse: Does this voice for male created characters sound familiar? It should, for that's Curtis Arnott, aka Takahata101, aka Nappa from Dragon Ball Z Abridged.
  • DM Ashura originally started out making fan remixes and original stepcharts for Dance Dance Revolution simulators, then one of his songs won a contest to get into an official DDR home version. He's had several more songs in DDR since then (including a collaboration with IIDX regular kors k), plus one in an arcade version of beatmania IIDX.
    • Although IIDX has still never seen an arcade release stateside, one of the most prominent composers who works on the series visited the Tokyo Game Action arcade and bowling alley in Rhode Island (back when it was still in business) on several occasions to put on a concert for the western fans who were lucky enough to be present. It has recently been discovered that this composer sampled some of the background chatter during this event, and inserted some distorted voice samples into a track called ICARUS in a subsequent release. If you know what to listen for you can actually hear several U.S. east coast community members get namedropped in the game itself. Which is, you know, pretty damn cool.
    • Likewise for Sanxion 7, who produced many songs and fan remixes for Stepmania, before contributing the song "Eternus" to DDR Supernova 2. He has since appeared more on U.S.-developed Pump It Up games (i.e. Pro 2 and Infinity; ironically, said song also appeared there)
  • The MechWarrior series is being rebooted by Jordan Weiseman, who started the (critically acclaimed) series himself and has bought back the license from Microsoft themselves.
  • Hikaru Midorikawa himself loves the Super Robot Wars series and he even voices his characters for free! And he gets to voice the first Original Character of Banpresto.
  • For Glider Pro, John Calhoun recruited three of the best Glider 4.0 level designers (one of them on the strength of having built a house that played itself).
  • After the Halo IP was given to 343 Industries, the writers of the Halo-related blog Ascendant Justice got hired to work on several articles on Halo Waypoint concerning Halo canon.
    • Frank O'Connor, head of 343 Industries, is a specific example - he started off as a Halo fan, was hired by Bungie to be their content manager, and is now practically in charge of the Halo canon, having among other things been the general director for Halo Legends.
    • Kana Ueda is a big fan of Halo and other Western FPS. She later got the chance to voice Sadie in the Japanese version of Halo 3: ODST (as well as being the dub voice of Alena Vorshevsky in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3).
  • Some of the people who are working with Sumo Digital on LittleBigPlanet 3 are some of the most amazing creators from the community like Steve_Big_Guns.
  • Nate Bihldorff quickly climbed the ranks from studying creative writing in college, to being a playtester for Nintendo, to writing for Nintendo Power, to working on localizing games for Nintendo, and today he is the head honcho of Nintendo of America's acclaimed localization department.
  • Ever since he first started working at Konami, Koji Igarashi was a big fan of the Castlevania series. He got his first opportunity to actually work on one of the games with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and he produced most of the games starting with Castlevania Chronicles.
  • After The Guild 2 Venice stand alone pack was made, several German members of the Guild 2 Modding Forum (Jowood was a German Company) who worked on the major mods of the Guild 2 on The Guild 2 Renaissance which became an official addon approved by Jowood.
  • Aliens: Colonial Marines done by Gearbox Software. This walkthrough has Randy Pitchford mention how they're a bunch of big Aliens nerds (as well as noting how many stole from it, as A Space Marine Is You mentions).
  • Jon Shafer grew up playing Sid Meier's Civilization, became a well-known modder for the later installments, was hired by Firaxis to work on an expansion pack for Civ IV, and is now the lead designer of Civ V. At age 25.
  • Phil Collins is a huge fan of video games, and actually appeared as himself as a non-playable character in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. He provided his voice, and his music was used throughout the game. At the end, his character performs a concert.
  • The Gas Powered Games forum staff were selected from their community, as opposed to being hired to manage the forums as they originally were. One member, who was really only there because he loved the off-topic board was promoted to a moderator for that very board.
    • Gas Powered Games have also hired a modder known in the community widely for his highly improved Supreme Commander skirmish AI's. He was also one of a pair of modders who created the first uploaded mod, at least as far as is known on the official forums. The other modder he was working with? See the next example.
  • The Transcendence community's websites are run in pretty much the same manner, where the developer promotes members of the community to help out as staff on the sites, ranging from moderators to administrators.
    • The aforementioned Supreme Commander modder became one of the administrators of the forums for his work on an unofficial expansion and has helped develop the backstory, balance, and planned content for various factions in the canon universe based off of his own Fanon work. This same person nearly had his ship graphics created for his unofficial expansion licensed for use in an in-development commercial game, though the talks fell through when it was discovered there was an incompatibility between the game's engine and the format his models had been made in, as they were designed simply to be rendered into sprites that Transcendence could use. He then went on to begin development on his own game, while still actively fulfilling his duties in the Transcendence community.
  • Arenanet often use the names of Guild Wars wiki contributors for newly-introduced non-player characters.
  • Tsubasa Yonaga was a huge fan of the Tales Series. He was eventually cast as Jude Mathis, the protagonist of Tales of Xillia.
  • Christian "The Taxman" Whitehead, a well-known member of Sonic Retro, created an physics engine that was faithful to the Genesis games, and once even created a tech demo of Sonic the Hedgehog CD on the iPhone that proved it was possible to do an iPhone port that was faithful to the original. This got noticed by Sega, who hired him to remake the game for everything except Nintendo consoles with said engine. He then went on to remake Sonic The Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to the style of the Sonic CD remake. Then, he, alongside Sonic Team and fellow fanboys Headcannon and PagodaWest games, developed Sonic Mania, an entirely original game.
  • Stephan "Lordus" Dittrich created a homebrew Sega Genesis emulator for the Nintendo DS. However, after years of no new releases of said emulator or contact with Lordus on the Internet, the Sonic Classic Collection was announced for the DS, a port of the first 3 Sonic games to the platform. It is believed that Dittrich's emulator was used as the base of the collection, with him being credited as the lead developer.
  • IGN's Jessica Chobot has been a huge fan of the Mass Effect series from the beginning and she was cast in Mass Effect 3 as Diana Allers, a reporter embedded with the Normandy.
    • This was also the case for Freddie Prinze, Jr. as James Vega for Mass Effect 3. This led to him becoming a Promoted Fanboy again as he is also a Dragon Age fan and got cast as The Iron Bull for Inquisition.
  • Former cosplayer and actress Allegra Clark is a dedicated fan of the Dragon Age series, once medalling in a costume contest at San Diego Comic Con for her cosplay of Isabela from Dragon Age II. BioWare gave her the voice of Josephine Montilyet in Dragon Age: Inquisition.
  • Uber Haxor Nova's long running Happy Wheels series got the creator's attention and had him voice a new character.
  • Randall "Frigidman" Shaw, who produced several network maps for Marathon 2, as well as later contributing to the total conversion EVIL, was hired to do the Vidmaster's Challenge levels for Infinity, along with some of its multiplayer maps. Ditto for Randy "Ydnar" Reddig, who created the M1 map Pfhactory and others before joining Double Aught and turning that into "Aye Mak Sicur", the final stage.
    • Craig Mullins came to Bungie's attention through Marathon fan art he posted online. His digital paintings subsequently featured in Marathon 2 and many other games.
  • Sara Jessica Leen is a fan of Japanese indie games, as well as a fan of Ace Attorney, Suikoden, and Lunar: The Silver Star, among other things. She originally started making Fan Translation patches for doujin games such as the SUGURI series, and ended up working as Rockin' Android's translator and programmer. Since then, she's worked on many PC game localizations as well as Freedom Planet, and has a job with XSEED Games.
  • Tomokazu Sugita is the voice of Ragna the Bloodedge from BlazBlue. He's also responsible for the character of Amane Nishiki after he proposed it to Arc System Works.
  • Hat Films, a trio of British fans that make videos, edit them to great effect, and risen to popularity with their videos of Minecraft had gotten the attention of Mojang, the developers of Minecraft. Hat Films are now usually asked by Mojang to produce trailers for the next major update for Minecraft.
    • Dr Zhark, creator of the Mo' Creatures mod, is helping Mojang add horses to the game for patch 1.6.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Erik West, known as Immok the Slayer online, is an example of this with a strong dose of Tear Jerker. After discovering Erik's extensive knowledge of Oblivion, Bethesda had invited him for a tour of their studio during the making of Skyrim. Sadly, Erik died of cancer prior to the release of Skyrim. There are people who would adventure with Erik the Slayer, and ensure to make him "essential" as well. Interestingly enough, his character fits this as well. Erik was just a farmer's son who loved adventuring but didn't have the means to do so. You have the option to help him become an adventurer, and then hire him to be your companion.
    • Malukah was a fan of the series whose cover of "The Dragonborn Comes" from Skyrim went viral. She was commissioned to compose the tunes and perform several songs for The Elder Scrolls Online.
  • Old Man Murray started out as a personal game-review site run entirely by two game fanboys, Chet Faliszek and Erik Wolpaw. Today, both work for Valve, with Chet Falszek working heavily on the Left 4 Dead series, and Erik Wolpaw writing for the Portal series.
  • Everyone who donated at least 1 USD to Nyu Media's The Tale Of ALLTYNEX Kickstarter for the series had their name displayed on the Roll of Honor on the official website. In addition, everyone who donated at least $15 had their names in the international release of ALLTYNEX Second. Finally, anyone who donated at least $1,000 would've been eligable to appear in the ending sequence of ALLTYNEX Second under the War Record section of the ending sequence, but no one donated that much.
  • Troy Baker considered getting to voice The Joker in Batman: Arkham Origins a dream come true, stating that he was a huge fan of Batman: The Animated Series as a child.
  • Stuart Campbell, the Amiga Power reviewer who praised Sensible Soccer as "damn near perfect," went to Sensible Software to work on the sequel.
  • Gavin Dunne, the mind behind Miracle of Sound, has been making gaming music for several years, but one of his songs Cries of The Dead World made it into the game it was made for as the ending credits. He had also been previously asked by Bioware and Ubisoft to make songs for Mass Effect 3 and Watch_Dogs, though both were promotional material only.
  • Maximilian Dood is an avid fighting game fanatic who covers popular video games on his channel and frequently gets exclusive stuff by talking to the developers, promoting their games. Iron Galaxy Studios actually hired Max as a writer and story consultant for the Season 2 of Killer Instinct (2013).
  • Saints Row modder IdolNinja, famed as creator of the popular "Gentlemen of the Row" mod, got hired by Volition.
    • An in-universe example from Saints Row IV: Matt Miller's loyalty mission has you help him live out his Nyte Blayde Self-Insert Fic in the simulation. During the mission, the Boss — who previously dismissed Nyte Blayde as "just a shitty vampire show" — slowly gets more and more invested in the lore, and at the end has been converted into a full-blown fanboy/girl on par with Matt. The Boss then uses their authority as US President (and last surviving world leader) to give Matt all rights to the Nyte Blayde franchise on the condition that he never stop making content.
  • There's a game called Y2K coming out in 2016, and the character named Rory is voiced by Andrew Fayette. Other people may know him as Youtuber and Let's Player Yuriofwind.
  • MechWarrior Living Legends, a total conversion Game Mod for Crysis Warhead, hired the creators of popular maps (such as Dustbowl or Altay) and subsequently incorporated them into the base game. The lead developers were hired by Crytek for their expertise on their own Game Engine.
  • During Splatoon's development Masahiro Anbe, creator of the (also squid-centered) manga Squid Girl, drew and uploaded several pieces of fanart for the game to his Twitter account, with comments saying he'd love to see his manga and the game cross over in some form. Later, shortly before Splatoon's release, an official crossover between both works was announced, illustrated by Masahiro and promoted with crossover artwork from both sides. An update added Squid Girl gear to the game.
  • Jane Jensen was inspired to go into the video game industry after playing King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella. She ended-up co-designing King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow and created the Gabriel Knight series.
  • Iron Galaxy Studios is currently staffed by Adam "Keits" Heart and Alex Jebailey, two fighting game community notables (Keits being the host of the Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament event and Jebailiy the host of Community Effort Orlando tournament) who went on to work on the 2013 Killer Instinct game (Keits as a combat designer and Jebailey as a community manager). Keits has a particularly interesting story as he came to Iron Galaxy by way of his joke-game-turned-serious Divekick, which Iron Galaxy helped develop and publish and then hired him on fully as the combat engineer for Killer Instinct once Divekick had launched.
  • The Warning is a rock band comprised of three young sisters from Mexico, who started playing together after Rock Band sparked their interest. Prior to the release of Rock Band 4, they were invited to a tour of the Harmonix studios in Boston, where they found out their song 'Free Falling' would be part of the game's setlist.
  • Witch Hunt, a fan translation project of Umineko: When They Cry, not only got a letter from Ryukushi 07, the writer of the series, thanking them for their efforts but the group was added into Episode 4 of the game they were translating.
  • Gas Guzzlers has a voice option labelled 'Duke'. Said option is voiced by Clint, of Lazy Game Reviews fame, who played the game and lamented the lack of a Duke Nukem voice. The developers saw his video and asked him if he'd like to provide his Duke Nukem impression for the game, and he agreed, with said voice option being added in the 1.2 patch.
  • Worms W.M.D. has voices provided for the game by various YouTubers that have played the game, including Hat Films and Achievement Hunter.
  • Rie Takahashi attended an Idolm@ster concert in 2012. Now she's voicing Shiika in Stella Stage.
  • DDR Jake was a popular YouTuber and streamer of Europa Universalis 4. His mastery of the game was so notorious (including completing a world conquest as a single province country off the coast of Japan, considered the hardest feat in the game) that he was hired by the developer Paradox Interactive because of it.
  • The Binding of Isaac:
    • Spidermod was a popular mod for the original Isaac that effectively acted as a pumped-up trainer for the game. The developer was hired to work on Rebirth, and an item in Afterbirth was called "Spider Mod" and showed the health bars for enemies, which was a feature of the original mod.
    • The Booster Packs in Afterbirth+ take a number of mods, from the Steam Workshop or otherwise, and officially adds them in to the game. The developers of the popular fan-expansion Antibirth were also hired for working on the fourth and fifth of those booster packs, with one of the Antibirth itemsnote  even being ported over.
  • Sometimes fans manage to promote themselves: A couple fans of Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap founded studio Lizardcube to build their Fan Remake of the game, and successfully negotiated a licensing deal with Sega and Westone to make it an official remake, published in 2017.
  • Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom was originally intended as a fan-made Spiritual Successor to The Dragon's Trap, until it was noticed by Ryuichi Nishizawa and promoted to an actual sequel.
  • Mike "RIUM+" Ando created a functioning replica of the Myst linking book. When the original game was remade in 2014, because the original book was too worn-out, Cyan used this prop as the basis for the new book model, crediting Ando. He points out that this means it's no longer just a fan replica, but the actual real Myst book.
  • In WarioWare Gold, dialing the code "BAAI" in one of the phones in the Toy room will lead to a message where an unspecified developer talks about how he used to play the original Warioware as a child and is very happy to have worked on the game.
  • Cool-Kyou Shinsha, known for works such as Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, is a fan of Monster Girl Quest to the point of drawing a doujin for it. He eventually became one of the artists for the sequel Monster Girl Quest: Paradox.
  • As a boy, Keith Silverstein loved the Mega Man series. As of Mega Man 11, he is now part of the series as the English voice of Dr. Wily.
  • Jacob McManamy, the author of the official tie-in comic book bundled in the Intruder Edition of DUSK, was noticed while the game was still being devloped, by the game's developers after posting a two-pages fan comic about the game on his Twitter account.
  • Ronda Rousey has been a fan of Mortal Kombat since childhood, and Sonya Blade was her first memory of an Action Girl (who she "admittedly kind of emulated in [her] own way" in her UFC and WWE careers). Now she's in MortalKombat11 as the voice of Sonya.
  • Skrillex has been a fan of the Kingdom Hearts series, mentioning this fact several times on Instagram and interviews. He was eventually allowed to collaborate with Utada Hikaru (who usually makes a theme song for each numbered installment) to create a theme song for Kingdom Hearts III, "Face My Fears" that plays in the game's opening.
  • Some of Furcadia's programmers learned the basics of programming with the game's scripting language, DragonSpeak

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