THE FOUNDER of online phenomenon Moshi Monsters said he is "thrilled" at being awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Years Honours.

Michael Acton-Smith, the founder of gaming and entertainment company Mind Candy, was recognised for services to the Creative Industries in the annual list.

The Marlow man has overseen the growth of his digital empire from its birth in 2003, a rise which has seen the studios awarded a BAFTA this year in the ‘Best Original Interactive’ category.

He said: "This is amazing news to round off what has been a magical year for Moshi Monsters.

"I'm honoured and thrilled to be awarded this OBE and to be in such impressive company, but obviously this is an accolade that all the team at Mind Candy and Firebox can be proud of. It's a great way for us to kick off 2014."

Moshi Monsters, which allows people to create and nurture a range of online pet monsters online, has become a global hit, with over 87 million registered users across 150 countries.

The former Danesfield School pupil also founded and started the secret boutique music festival Berwickstock.

His achievement represents the jewel in the crown of a town which boasts a wealth of successful creative digital companies and individuals.