Gordon Hall, the founder of the studio that became Rockstar Leeds, has died at the age of 51.
As reported by GamesIndustry, news began circulating around the Yorkshire development scene, where Hall was based. A cause of death has not been released. While Hall did not spend much time in the PC gaming scene, he contributed towards many handheld ports and licensed adaptations during his career.
Hall founded Möbius Entertainment in 1997, the studio responsible for an assortment of Game Boy Advance adaptations. One of those included the GBA version of Max Payne, which left Rockstar president Sam Houser “very impressed” and led to their acquisition and rebranding to Rockstar Leeds in 2004.
Under Hall, Rockstar Leeds released games like Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars and GTA: Liberty City Stories, with Hall also working on the development of Red Dead Redemption under Rockstar San Diego. Hall remained president of Rockstar Leeds until 2011, when he left to focus on research for player psychology and microtransactions strategy. Hall returned to the industry in 2013, as chief creative officer at Activision Blizzard Mobile.
Martyn Brown, co-founder of Team17 said “Gordon was simply brilliant to be around, incredibly motivating and ever positive.
“His pursuit of excellence was staggering and he formed a great, trusting bond with those who chose to work [hard] alongside him. As a close friend, he was truly inspirational and socially speaking a real energetic one-off who could endlessly entertain at the drop of a hat, holding everyone in the palm of his hand. Gordon will be very sadly missed.”
Rockstar Games also provided a statement to PC Gamer, saying “We were very saddened to hear of the recent passing of Gordon Hall. During his time with us, Gordon helped create some truly amazing games and was instrumental in the creation of the classic, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. May he rest in peace. Our condolences go out to his family and friends for their loss.”
Hall is survived by his son James.