Gamasutra has learned that game industry veteran, Mastertronic co-founder and former Virgin Interactive president Martin Alper passed away over the weekend at the age of 72.
The sad news comes courtesy of Dean Takahashi at GamesBeat, who yesterday published a tribute to Alper (from which the photo above is sourced) that includes commentary on his life and legacy from notable developers like Louis Castle (who co-founded Westwood Studios) and Gaikai co-founder David Perry, whose work with Alper led to him moving to the U.S. and ultimately founding (now-defunct) Shiny Entertainment.
"We were good friends and frankly his phone call completely changed the course of my life and career," Perry told GamesBeat, while Castle noted that "Command & Conquer would never have happened without Martin.”
A Londoner by birth, Alper co-founded the U.K. publisher Mastertronic in 1983 and later moved to California to establish a division of the business in the U.S.
Mastertronic was eventually acquired by Richard Branson and absorbed into what became Virgin Interactive, and Alper worked at Virgin in an executive role for some time before moving to New York City in 2007 to study video production at NYU. As recently as 2011 he was exhibiting his work in SoHo art galleries.