Psygnosis co-founder Ian Hetherington has died

Ian Hetherington

The British games industry is mourning the death of Psygnosis boss Ian Hetherington, one of the most influential figures of the 80s and 90s.

Colleagues and friends have been paying tribute to Ian Hetherington, the co-founder of iconic British publisher and developer Psygnosis.

The news was announced by veteran games journalist Jez Rignall and was relayed to him via fellow Psygnosis co-founder Jonathan Ellis.

Tributes were then paid by colleagues including musician Tim Wright, WipEout co-creator Nick Burcombe, and Firesprite co-founder Lee Carus.

Starting as a developer at Imagine Software, Hetherington and several former staff established new studio Psygnosis in 1984, with the new company quickly going on to become one of the most influential of the 16-bit era.

Psygnosis titles became famous for the quality of their graphics and distinctive packaging, which was considerably more professional than most rivals of the time, and saw the company publish Amiga era classics such as Shadow Of The Beast, Barbarian, Hired Guns, Blood Money, and Lemmings.

As Sony looked to enter the video games market in the early 90s, Psygnosis caught their attention with FMV-based game Microcosm, which made extensive use of then new CD-ROM technology.

This led to Sony acquiring Psygnosis, with Hetherington remaining in a business role and helping to oversee classics such as WipEout, G-Police, and Colony Wars.

Psygnosis was renamed as Studio Liverpool in 1999 and closed down in 2012 but Hetherington still went on to become chairman of Driveclub developer Evolution Studios and Crackdown creator Realtime Worlds.

Hetherington was one of the most influential, and well respected, figures in the early British video games industry and his legacy continues today, with Firesprite, who were recently acquired by Sony, being considered the spiritual successor to Psygnosis.

Metro extends its sincere condolences to Hetherington’s friends and family.

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