Stewart Gilray, the founder of Just Add Water, dies at 51

The games industry veteran was admitted to hospital shortly before Christmas with COVID-19.

Stewart Gilray, the founder and CEO of the development studio Just Add Water, has died at the age of 51.

Gilray was admitted to the hospital on December 20 after testing positive for COVID-19 and sadly passed away this morning (January 6) following a few weeks of fighting the virus.

After founding the UK company in 2006, the CEO led Just Add Water for 15 years, a developer best-known for Gravity Crash and several Oddworld titles.

Gilray started as a freelance programmer in the ’80s, where he worked with studios such as Psygnosis, Bullfrog, Core Design, and Argonaut Software.

During his career, Gilray worked at several companies, including 21st Century Entertainment and Revolution Software, before founding Just Add Water. The studio is also responsible for titles such as Sniper Elite VR, Toy Soldiers HD and Doctor Who: The Edge of Reality.

As reported by GamesIndustry, several members of the games industry have paid tribute the Gilray’s passing.

“Stewart was one of the most loved people in the games industry,” said indie developer Shahid Ahmad. “He and I hit it off at our very first meeting well over a decade ago and had been very close friends since, sharing our highest highs and lowest lows. He was one of only a handful of people in the industry who I trusted enough to open up with…

“My thoughts and prayers are with them. Stew is irreplaceable and so is our friendship. The massive outpouring of love for him is testament to him as a man who cared deeply about people.”

PlayStation principal engineer Byron Atkinson-Jones shared his thoughts, saying, “Stewart was somebody I truly considered to be a friend. He was always there to help. He never judged. He would often call me on the phone to check up on how I was doing. He was passionate about games and our industry. I will miss him terribly, we lost a genuine friend today.”

Game developer Mike Bithell said: “@stewartgilray was a good bloke and mentor, and I was glad when we finally got the chance to work together on Volume: Coda.”

Stewart Gilray is survived by his wife Bec and their son and daughter.

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