13th May 2010 05:39 PM Darren Allan Wondering who the twenty most influential people in the world of massively multiplayer online gaming are? No, neither were we. But when we spotted that Beckett Massive Online Gamer, the US based magazine, had compiled a list, we were intrigued enough to take a look. Who’s number one, we thought, and we were quickly answered as our eyes scanned straight to the top of the list. It’s a tie, in fact, between two personalities who share the top spot: John Smedley from Sony Online Entertainment, who we fondly(ish) remember from our late-nineties addiction to EverQuest. (Camping overnight for the J-Boots is an experience we won’t easily forget). Massive Online Gamer says he secures the spot due to SOE’s overall corporate direction and success under his Presidency. He’s joint number one with SOE’s Laralyn McWilliams, Lead Designer of Free Realms, the successful kid-centric MMO. Number two on the most influential list is Huateng Ma of Tencent, the Chinese entrepreneur who established the QQ online community and is worth some $1.5 billion. Number three is Mike Morhaime from Blizzard (well, Warcraft had to make its mark here, let’s face it). He’s followed by John Riccitiello of Electronic Arts, and Jack Emmert and John Needham of Cryptic Studios, the outfit that has just released Star Trek Online. There was a considerable Chinese influence on the list, with five of the top twenty (including Huateng Ma) coming from the expanding online gaming market in China.