Find out how to kick start your games industry career

Get Your Free Ticket Today

Obituary: Fergus McGovern

Co-founder of Probe, Hotgen passed away suddenly at the weekend

Fergus McGovern, co-founder of Probe Software and Hotgen, has sadly passed away after a transatlantic flight at the weekend. It's believed that the flight caused a sudden death from a cerebral blood clot. McGovern was just 50 years old and leaves behind a wife and three children.

Tributes to the British entrepreneur have come from figures throughout the UK industry, from colleagues and contemporaries alike, with hundreds posting to McGovern's Facebook wall with memories of the ways in which he changed both the industry as a whole and the lives of those he worked with.

McGovern saw huge success at Probe, which became one of the UK's most reliable porting houses for bringing arcade titles to early home computers like the Spectrum and Amiga, helping to bring some of today's most recognisable gaming IP, including Mortal Kombat and FIFA, to a generation of gamers. After selling Probe to Acclaim in 1995 and leaving a couple of years later, McGovern founded Hotgen and went on to take a seat on the board of his beloved Crystal Palace FC Football Club, which also paid tribute to a man who had become a "near permanent fixture in the boardroom for over 15 years".

"Every kid loved video games, and having the opportunity to make games has changed my life," said McGovern in a 2008 interview. "To be honest, I achieved quite a lot when I was very young. We had seven Christmas number ones out of 10, and in 1995 I was given a lifetime achievement award. That's too young."

Remembered for his quick smile, generous nature and tireless enthusiasm, McGovern will be sorely missed.

Find out how to kick start your games industry career

Get Your Free Ticket Today

More stories

Ubisoft employees upset with lack of communication on misconduct reports

Multiple developers told Kotaku the publisher's maze-like complaint process lacks follow-up, transparency, and in many cases resolution

By Brendan Sinclair

InGAME and Nesta launch $69,000 game dev contest for healthier neighborhoods

R&D center and non-profit agency launch Scottish game maker competition to better imagine accessible food environments

By Jeffrey Rousseau

Latest comments (3)

Richard Browne Head of External Projects, Digital Extremes5 years ago
Wonderful bloke, a pioneer in his field, helped the UK business not only become what it has but gave a start to so many talents its hard to quantify. Rest in peace mate, you truly made a difference.
4Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Mike Fegan Director, Trickstar Games5 years ago
Thanks for the great times in London-LA-Dublin and in Australia. Thanks for thumbing your nose at the establishment when needed. Thanks for always sticking up for the little guy and thank you for being my friend. My sincere condolences to Deanna, the kids and brother Kevin. RIP Mate!
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
I consulted and worked with Probe and Fergus during the Croydon days of his company's history. Fergus was one of those that shaped the UK computer games industry, and later defined an area of business that established the growth of retro gaming. We wish his family the best at this difficult time.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.