UK games industry legend David Lawson passes away

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David Lawson, the UK games industry giant who co-founded Imagine Software and Psygnosis, passed away aged 62 in August according to Eurogamer.

Lawson co-founded Imagine Software in 1982 at the age of 23, where he saw great success during the boom of the UK games industry. Within its first year, Imagine Software was allegedly turning over £1M per month.

While at Imagine, Lawson is credited with early Imagine Software successes such as Arcadia and Ah Diddums. At its largest, Imagine Software grew to upwards of 80 people and also founded a racing to race in the Isle of Man TT race.

1984, Imagine Software collapsed, and it was captured entirely by the BBC. A film crew on location in Liverpool was filming a documentary on the UK games scene and managed to capture bailiffs descended upon Imagine Software. Their final games in production, Psyclapse and Bandersnatch, never released.

The name of the latter was repurposed for Charlie Brooker’s interactive episode of the Netflix serial, Black Mirror.

John Gibson, a former senior programmer at Imagine paid tribute to David on social media.

“Sad to say that one of the founding fathers of the UK games industry has died. Dave Lawson, founder of Imagine Software, passed away on August 10.”

“Dave’s enthusiasm for computer games was unbounded. It was that enthusiasm that led him to conceive Bandersnatch and Psyclapse, two groundbreaking games that unfortunately never saw the light of day.

“Dave has always meant a lot to me because he gave me my first job in the games industry. He took a gamble on me when I had nothing to commend myself to him other than my enthusiasm. I will be eternally grateful to him for taking that gamble.”

“Rest in peace Dave. Thank you for my 32-year career.”

His partner, Tracey Walker, also paid touching tribute to the UK software giant.

“After we got married we spent six years living in the States in San Francisco and Virginia,” she said. “We had a crazy life! He was a one-off that’s for sure. He died in hospital in Wirral and was loved by me and his children, Rheia and Poppy, until the end.”

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