1996 was a fantastic year for Westwood Studios and for Brett Sperry. It was the year that Command & Conquer: Red Alert was finally released to an anxious and rabid crowd of gaming fans.This third-generation real-time strategy game (after Dune II and Command & Conquer) broke the records set by WarCraft II to become the fastest selling real-time strategy game ever, eclipsing the one million unit mark worldwide after only a few months. 1996 was also the year that Sperry decided to bring the Command & Conquer franchises to the consoles, beginning development for the Sony Playstation and Sega Saturn.

Red Alert, as the biggest real-time commercial hit to date, definitely had a big impact on the development of real-time strategy games in 1996 and this year. The evidence of that is the over forty titles ready to saturate the genre by this Christmas.

In the wake of Virgin's faltering product lineup, Sperry was also appointed to the position of President of Worldwide Development at Westwood's parent company, Virgin Interactive. He was operating unofficially in that capacity months before he actually assumed the official title several months ago. In this capacity, he not only had the opportunity and responsibility to oversee all creative development at Westwood (including the upcoming releases like Bladerunner, Lands of Lore 2, Sole Survivor, and 1998's C&C 2), but all of Virgin's in-house and third-party development as well.

At number 2...