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Online filmmaking pioneer and Machinima, Inc. founder Hugh Hancock has passed away.
Hancock was one of the founding members of Strange Company, a band of machinima creators and distributors widely regarded as the forefathers of the movement.
He established Machinima, Inc. in 2000, and helped turn the website into a globally recognized media network.
Through the Machinima brand, Hancock brought attention to machinima as an art form, and encouraged filmmakers to expand their horizons by creating movies using a diverse range of game engines.
Although he eventually stepped away from the company after selling it to new owners in 2006, he continued to work on machinima movies in the years that followed.
His last major film project, Death Knight Love Story, was an ambitious World of Warcraft fan film five-years in the making.
In recent years, Hancock had become enamored with virtual reality after having a "Road To Damascus" moment using a HTC Vive, and not long ago made the switch to full-time VR development to work on his debut title, Left-Hand Path.
The Dark Souls inspired horror-RPG launched in November last year, and was praised by consumers and critics alike.
As news of his passing has spread, friends, colleagues, and fans have taken to Twitter to pay their respects and celebrate his work.
I'm shocked to learn of the passing away of Hugh Hancock, a visionary and amazingly creative talent, coined the word Machinima and was at the forefront of VR gaming production.— Andres Guadamuz (@technollama) February 7, 2018
So sad to hear about the passing away of my friend @hughhancock - a genuinely lovely guy, passionately creative and worthy of remembrance. I consider him the pioneer of 'Machinima' (I remember the discussions over why it wasn't 'Machinema'). Rest In Peace.— James Hamer-Morton (@Volvi) February 7, 2018
So sad to learn that Hugh Hancock @hughhancock, creator of the wonderful VR game Left-Hand Path, just died. We had exchanged friendly emails and he was very helpful and accessible to fans of his game. Awful that his life and career were cut short; he was in his early 40's pic.twitter.com/wfEJPZ3AyJ— Lucid Virtuality (@LucidVirtuality) February 7, 2018