Ian Hetherington, founder of Imagine Software, Psygnosis, and Evolution Studios has passed away following a short illness.
Hetherington passed away on Tuesday (December 14) and as reported by GamesIndustry.biz, many senior industry figures have spoken out in celebration of his life.
After joining Imagine Software in 1982, Hetherington went on to found Psygnosis in 1984. Working on titles such as Lemmings and WipeOut, Hetherington was part of the team at Psygnosis who helped launch the original PlayStation.
In 1998 Hetherington left Psygnosis to form Evolution Studios, which released a number of racing games and franchises including WRC and MotorStorm. Many Psygnosis staff are now part of Firesprite Studio, with its art director Lee Carus saying:
“I really don’t know where to start. He’s had an impact on the entire direction of my life. If he hadn’t have given that floppy haired kid from a rough estate, who dabbled in Amiga art, a chance who knows what could have happened?”
“But I know this isn’t a one off — he jump started so many careers and lives. It’s remarkable just how much of the UK games industry you can ultimately trace back to Ian. Some of the most senior people in the industry now, owe some part of their success to working with and learning from Ian.”
Inflexion Games’ Neil Thompson said:
“Like many of the stories I’ve already seen, I’ll always be indebted to Ian for giving me a shot at the ‘big time’, as Psygnosis undoubtedly were at that point. Ian was always a larger than life and inspiring figure.”
“He had a vision for the future of games that was so far ahead of the time regarding the use of cinematic cut-scenes and intros and the adoption of high-end 3D workstations that were unheard of in the games industry at the time. It was an incredible risk as the machines and software were tens of thousands of pounds at that time, with no proven value in the medium of games. Yet Ian took that risk and encouraged the small art team internally at Psygnosis to produce some truly groundbreaking work.”