A picture of Ian Hetherington

Ian Hetherington, Known for Wipeout and Lemmings Series, Has Died

December 16, 2021

By: Brian Renadette

 
 

Ian Hetherington, a well-known name in the British video game industry during the 80s and 90s, has passed away after a short illness. The industry veteran was mainly known for co-founding the studio Psygnosis and being a part of the team that launched the PlayStation.

Ian Hetherington started off as a developer and co-founder of Imagine Software in 1982, before creating Psygnosis in 1984 alongside Jonathan Ellis and David Lawson (who also died this year.) Psygnosis was known for its work on more than a few Amiga-era classics such as Wipeout, Hired Guns, and Lemmings. The Psygnosis team would also be direct influences on the technology that went into the PlayStation. Ian Hetherington would leave Psygnosis in 1998 to create Evolution Studios, which released racing games such as WRC and MotorStorm. He left in 2007 and held senior roles at various companies, and most recently appeared in a documentary celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Lemmings franchise.

 

Promotional art for Lemmings, one of Psygnosis' most well-known games

Tributes to Ian Hetherington are already being shared across social media and email:

 
 
  • The trade body UKIE wrote "The Ukie team is sad to hear of the passing of Ian Hetherington, co-founder of Psygnosis and a key figure in the development of the UK games industry. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues from across the industry.
  • Media personality Jaz Rignall said "Ian helped bring some incredible games to life, including Shadow of the Beast, Wipeout, Destruction Derby, Colony Wars, and Lemmings. He will be sadly missed."
  • Lucid Games' Martin Linklater said "So sad to hear Ian Hetherington has passed away. A proper games industry legend and a lovely bloke. I had the pleasure of working with Ian on a number of occasions... at Psygnosis and then Curly Monsters. RIP Ian. Deepest condolences to his loved ones."