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The UK games industry has come together to pay tribute to artist and developer Paul McLaughlin after it emerged he'd passed away in December following a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 57.
McLaughlin was a big part of the industry for over 30 years, working at studios like 22cans, Lionhead, and Bullfrog. He worked on a number of hugely iconic and well-loved franchises, including Fable, Black & White, Syndicate, and Dungeon Keeper.
McLaughlin spent 15 years at Lionhead - nearly half his career - as art director on Fable and Black & White. Here, he helped to shape the iconic look and feel of both series. No doubt his presence will be keenly felt throughout Playground Games' upcoming Fable reboot.
"Paul was a huge cornerstone in my life," Lionhead co-founder Peter Molyneux write in tribute. "He was a professional, moral and funny person who had the ability to see the fair and sensible approach in any situation. I miss him every day in every way. His legacy will be felt and seen for a long, long time."
Molyneux added that McLaughlin was “a great artist, a wonderful mentor, and an inspirational man", a sentiment echoed by many of the industry figures who have come forward with tributes over the last few days.
"I'm not sure where to start, really, besides saying how glad I am to have known and worked alongside Paul," said 22cans lead artist Annah Wootten-Pineles. "He was a very talented artist and art director, whose quiet and methodical guidance made him a well-respected leader of the team.
Some amazing tributes to an amazing individual. You will be missed Paul https://t.co/fYmhu6cc37— Damian Buzugbe (@OmenD4) January 14, 2022
"His advice and critique were always asked for, and he was continually supportive of any work we did."
Mark Healey, co-Founder and creative director at Dreams studio Media Molecule added that McLaughlin was an "amazing" artist who always made him strive to be better.
"It's a very tragic loss, he was too young to leave us now, but gone he is - not in my (and many others') mind though, he will always have a special place there, and I will ask him when needed for advice on how to be a better person," Healey wrote.
"Rest in peace now Paul, you were f**king brilliant."
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