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Obituary:  Star Wars Galaxies  designer Ben Hanson
Obituary: Star Wars Galaxies designer Ben Hanson
July 10, 2014 | By Christian Nutt

July 10, 2014 | By Christian Nutt
More: Console/PC, Design

Ben Hanson, lead content designer of the Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed expansion, has passed away, Gamasutra has learned. The news came via a tweet from his colleague Raph Koster.

"Learned that the talented designer Ben Hanson passed away. Very sad news. He was a key contributor on SWG & fun to play & argue with," Koster wrote.

Hanson's MobyGames profile lists several contributions to the Star Wars Galaxies franchise as well as other games. Hanson also worked at Simutronics, Origin, ArenaNet, and Digital Anvil, in addition to Sony Online Entertainment, according to a blog post he wrote.

In that 11-year old post on the official Star Wars Galaxies site (via Hanson writes of his enthusiasm for online games: "I have been a big fan of online games ever since the first time I played them," Hanson wrote. "While single-player games were fun, it was these online wonders that captured my imagination..."

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Heng Yoeung
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He looks really young. Sad when people die so young. Goes to show you can't take anything for granted in life. And any wealth you accumulate can't take it with you.

Christian Nutt
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That pic is from the 2003 SWG blog post, but undoubtedly still too young, yes.

Gil Salvado
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The Force was strong with this one.

Lihim Sidhe
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One of my first exposures to Star Wars Galaxies is when I saw my two friend running around in the desert puking. I asked them why they were puking and they said, "We were out here surveying for minerals and learned we could get buffs by making certain drugs. So we crafted said drugs but we took too much and that's why we are running around puking."

I then watched them play four hours doing all sorts of crazy stuff. Crazy stuff that didn't involve one iota of combat. Surveying. Engineering. Crafting. Watching dancers. Listening to music performances. And that's before I learned how SWG treated Jedi; a class extremely hard to obtain, unbalanced and very powerful BUT you can only have them die three times before the permanently become a non-combat ghost.

SWG was ahead of it's time by a good 15-20 years I'd imagine. I never got into MMO's in general. And I would have gotten more into SWG but truth is... I just had fun watching my friends play.

I hope his game designer soul receives a buff in the afterlife. SWG was an incredible game.