The UK video games industry has come together to pay tribute to artist and developer Paul McLaughlin after it emerged he died in December following a long battle with cancer. He was 57 years old.
McLaughlin has been a big part of the industry for over 30 years, working at studios like 22cans, Lionhead and Bullfrog. He has worked on a number of hugely iconic and beloved franchises including Fable, Black & White, Syndicate and Dungeon Keeper.
McLaughlin spent 15 years at Lionhead – almost half of his career – as art director on Fable and Black & White. Here he helped shape the iconic look of both series. No doubt his presence will be keenly felt in Playground Games’ upcoming Fable reboot.
“Paul has been a cornerstone of my life,” Lionhead co-founder Peter Molyneux wrote in tribute. “He was a professional, moral and funny person who had the ability to see the right 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 industry figures who have paid tribute in recent days.
“I don’t really know where to start other than to say how happy 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 discreet and methodical advice made him a respected leader of the team.
“His advice and criticism were always sought, and he was continually supportive of any work we did.”
Mark Healey, co-founder and creative director of dreams Media Molecule studio added that McLaughlin was an “incredible” performer who always made him strive to be better.
“It’s a very tragic loss, he was too young to leave us now, but he’s gone – not in my mind (and many others’ minds) however, he will always have a special place there, and I I’ll ask her if needed for advice on how to be a better person,” Healey wrote.
“Rest in peace now Paul, you were brilliant f**king.”