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Obituary: British game development pioneer Mike Singleton
Obituary: British game development pioneer Mike Singleton
October 16, 2012 | By Mike Rose

October 16, 2012 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

Mike Singleton, best known as the developer behind well-regarded video game titles in the 1980s including The Lords of Midnight, and an important figure in early Britsoft, passed away earlier this month. He was 61.

According to a post on GiantBomb, Singleton lost his battle with cancer on October 10. A blog post by Christopher Jon Wild, who was working with Singleton on an iOS version of Lords of Midnight, confirms the news.

The industry veteran developed numerous notable titles for 8-bit platforms in the 80s, while also later creating titles for 16-bit platforms. Some of his best known work includes Doomdark's Revenge, Dark Sceptre and Carrier Command.

His classic Midwinter series garnered huge praise at the end of the 80s and into the 90s. After the turn of the millennium, he was also involved in development of titles such as GRID and Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows.

Wild said Singleton's game Lords of Midnight was "one of the greatest, but overlooked games of all time, by one of the best, but under appreciated developers, there has ever been."

Other developers took to Twitter to leave messages about Singleton's passing. Twisted Pixel's Dan Teasdale called the news "A great loss," noting that Midwinter 2 made him want to create games.

Elsewhere, Halo 4 lead designer Brad Welch said, "Midwinter was a defining game for me back on the Amiga," while Miles Jacobson, studio director at Sports Interactive, added, "Very sad to hear of the passing of Mike Singleton whose games I enjoyed very much as a youngster and an oldster."

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Jamie Mann
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Ack. Mike Singleton truly was a pioneer of the industry, not least when it came to his early games on the Spectrum. He will be missed

Jeff Murray
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Sad news. Goodbye to a truly legendary game designer.

Richard Browne
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Mike didn't design Carrier Command, that was the chaps at Realtime (Ian Oliver, Andy Onions and Graeme Baird). Mike was a complete pioneer in the early days of the ZX80, 81 and Spectrum ; he was a complete genius and I was very fortunate to have worked with him for many years. He will be missed by many.

Olivier Riedo
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Christian, you (well, and I) remember it as a Singleton game probably because it followed some of the same core principles: a wide open world where an enemy is progressing and you have to gather the resources you can to stop it in its tracks. It lacks, however, the recruitment aspect that was so characteristic of Lords of Midnight and Midwinter.

Mike and his games always were an inspiration to me. We have lost a visionary.

Paul Barrass
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tragic, but inevitable. Denis Ritchie, john mccarthy. All of the early computing pioneers are reaching their last break point. Exitting the loop. Life.Exit(), etc.
I think the best thing that each and every one of us can do is to carry computing and gaming on in their spirit. Finding clever solutions (Mikes work on memory management for LoM graphics was phenomonal and scientific, especially considering that he was basically inventing semi-perspective landscaping as he went. I had an article by him back in the day which was inspiring as it was beyond my capabilities to understand at the time), and entertaining and educating the world.