The founder of Imagine Software, Psygnosis and Evolution Studios, Ian Hetherington, passed away after a brief illness
Hetherington was a prominent member of the UK video game development scene from the mid-1980s to the early 2000s and helped create several iconic titles for the original PlayStation. Hetherington was part of the team that launched PlayStation: he and the Psygnosis team directly influenced the technology that went into that first console. As director of Psygnosis, he worked on major titles such as Lemmings and Wipeout. Wipeout series creator Nick Burcombe and composer Tim Wright announced his passing via Twitter.
Ian Hetherington… the man who kickstarted my career in games, and always had faith in my abilities, has sadly passed away. I’ll always be hugely grateful. My sincere and heartfelt condolences to his family. 🙏😔 pic.twitter.com/YD2KT0oqCR
— CoLD SToRAGE ( Tim Wright ) (@CoLDSToRAGE) December 15, 2021
Hetherington co-founded Imagine Software in 1982, before forming Psygnosis in 1984 with David Lawson and Jonathan Ellis. He remained with the company until 1998, when he left to form Evolution Studios, another Liverpool-area-based team that went on to create a string of successful racing games, including WRC and MotorStorm. Sony subsequently consolidated these studios into Sony Computer Entertainment in 1999. In the process, Psygnosis was renamed SCE Studio Liverpool.
Sad news today about the passing of UK Development legend, Ian Hetherington. He steered so many of my Psygnosis friends and colleagues through the 16 and 32 bit eras and into the arms of Playstation. #wipeout fans, it was Ian's leadership that made it happen. #respect pic.twitter.com/m9yA7ogbnM
— Nick Burcombe (@nburcombe) December 15, 2021
He left in 2007 and has since held senior positions at Realtime Worlds, Midoki and Immotion Group. He recently appeared in a documentary commemorating 30 years of Lemmings.
The news follows the death of Psygnosis and Imagine Software founder David Lawson earlier this year.