Per Twitter, Infocom and Accolade's Mike Berlyn passed away earlier this week at the age of 73 years old.
Best known for his work as the creator of the Bubsy series, Berlyn was a game designer and writer who entered the game industry with 1981's Oo-Topos. Over the years, he worked at several studios, both defunct (like Sentient Software and 989 Studios) and currently active (EA, Activision) on titles such as Zork and Altered Destiny.
While credited with creating the platformer series, Berlyn has only worked on two Bubsy games. He was the designer on the original 1993 game, and designer and producer for 1996's Bubsy 3D.
Alongside his accomplishments in design and programming, Berlyn had a short stint as a novelist. In the early 1980s, he published The Integrated Man and Crystal Phoenix, and his final book was 1990's The Eternal Enemy.
Berlyn also helped co-found two studios. Brainwave Creations was founded in the mid-1980s and created Tass Times in Tone Town, which he made alongside Interplay's Rebecca Heineman and Muffy McClung Berlyn (his wife).
In 1992, he and software engineer Marc Blank founded Blank, Berlyn & Co. The developer was eventually re-named Bend Studio, which is best known for PlayStation's Syphon Filter series, and more recently Days Gone.
Game Developer spoke with Berlyn in 2005 about the trajectory of his career, which you can read here.
Shattered to hear that game designer, programmer and writer Mike Berlyn has passed away. Suspended, Cutthroats, Infidel (Infocom) as well as games like Bubsy, and Busy 3D. Oo-topos, Tass Times in Tonetown, and many more games. RIP. pic.twitter.com/vAIJlQPe4D— Mike Mika (@MikeJMika) March 29, 2023
Update: Over the weekend, Bend Studio posted a statement regarding Berlyn's passing. In the tweet below, the studio called its co-founder "an extraordinary individual...[who] was a pivotal element in helping pioneer the foundation of our studio today. Rest in peace, Mike.
March 31, 2023