Michael Berlyn

We have some sad news to report. Game developer Michael Berlyn, the creator of Bubsy and founder of the company that eventually became Bend Studio — has passed away aged 73 (as reported by Digital Eclipse president Mike Mika on Twitter).

Berlyn is probably best remembered for being the original creator of the Bubsy series, a collection of games about a platforming, pun-loving bobcat, released by Accolade. Berlyn worked on the first game in the series, Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind, in addition to the fourth game, Bubsy 3D. His career, however, stretches back much further, with the developer entering the industry all the way back in 1981.

Some of his first published games included the Sentient Software' interactive fiction titles Oo-Topos and Cyborg for the Apple II computer.

Later, in the '80s, he also went to work on a number of other interactive fiction games for Infocom, including Infidel, Suspended, Cutthroats, and co-designed the game Tass Times in Tonetown with his wife Muffy, for Interplay and Activision.

In 1992, he also notably co-founded the company Blank, Berlyn & Co., the studio which would eventually become Eidetic and later Bend Studio (after being acquired by Sony).

On Twitter, fans and former colleagues have been expressing their sadness at the loss and paying tribute to the much-loved personality:

Our thoughts are with Berlyn's family and friends during this time. He leaves behind an impressive body of work that has inspired a large number of writers and designers.

[source twitter.com]