Art director

Fable art director Paul McLaughlin dies aged 57

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.”