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Obituary: AIAS founding director and former Sunsoft EVP Rita Zimmerer

Rita Zimmerer, once EVP at Sunsoft and a Academy of Interactive Arts and Science founding director, has passed away at the age of 64. 

Rita Zimmerer, once EVP at Sunsoft and an Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences founding director, has passed away at the age of 64. 

Zimmerer was a key figure at game developer and publisher Sunsoft during the ‘90s, and served as the company’s executive vice president from 1990 to 1994. During that time she contributed her talents to over 100 games, landing credits across production, design, and more in games like Lemmings (SNES), Looney Tunes B-Ball, and The Pirates of Dark Water.

Outside of her time at Sunsoft, Zimmerer was a founding director at the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, was listed among the Top 10 Business Women in Orange County, California, and was awarded the Warner Brother’s Presidents Award. After departing Sunsoft in 1994, Zimmerer spent time at the likes of Terraglyph Interactive Studios, Tiger Electronics and Playnet before founding her own company, BriteToys, in 2000.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that those wishing to pay respects to Zimmerer’s memory make a tribute donation to the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois in her name. An excerpt from the obituary provided by her family follows: 


“Rita Zimmerer’s passion for life was an inspiration to everyone she touched. She was a world builder, a creator, and a dreamer that could connect to anyone. A cup of coffee was always served with an amazing story that ended in laughter. While there are many things Rita will be remembered for, her incredible storytelling will never be forgotten as the stories will continue to live on in all that have heard them.”

“Rita was instrumental in the video gaming industry where she served as the Executive Vice President at Sunsoft helping design, develop and distribute over 100 video games for Nintendo, Sega, and Sony systems. Rita is quoted as saying, ‘This technology will revolutionize the way we live’ and she couldn’t have been more correct. Rita was committed to creating immersive games used to tell a compelling story.”

Condolences and special memories can be shared with Rita’s family via this online obituary.

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