Author Tom Clancy, whose work included several gaming franchises, passed away in Baltimore last night, his publicist has confirmed. Clancy was 66 years old.
Clancy's name is best known in the gaming world as a prefix to many Ubisoft titles, such as Splinter Cell, Hawx and Ghost Recon. However, Clancy himself was much more directly involved in the process, founding Red Storm Entertainment in 1996 with British ex-submariner Doug Littlejohns.
Red Storm was Clancy's first foray into turning his talents to the games market, building a successful outfit with many rich properties to its name - enough to earn it a lucrative buyout from Ubisoft in August 2000. Later, Ubisoft also penned a deal which gave the French publisher the right to use Clancy's name.
Both Clancy's writing and the video game franchises which bear his name tend to share a common ground of military and espionage action, heavily tinted with a US-centric worldview and politics, often dealing with issues of terrorism. Several of his works have also been made into major feature films, including The Hunt for the Red October, Clear and Present Danger, and Patriot Games.
Update: When asked for comment by GamesIndustry International, a Ubisoft spokesperson issued us the following statement: "We are saddened to learn of Tom Clancy's passing and our condolences go out to his family. Tom Clancy was an extraordinary author with a gift for creating detailed, engrossing fictional stories that captivated audiences around the world. The teams at Ubisoft, especially at the Red Storm studio, are incredibly grateful to have collaborated with and learned from him, and we are humbled by the opportunity to carry on part of his legacy through our properties that bear his name."