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Creative director Laralyn McWilliams has died

She began her games career back in 1994 and went on to work for games studios such as Sony and Microsoft

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Career game designer Laralyn McWilliams has died at the age of 58.

McWilliams passes away following complications related to heart surgery.

She began her game career in 1994, starting The Gloating Goat Company and designing games such as Shadows for Microprose.

Throughout her work history, she served as a lead designer at various studios, including Media Station, High Voltage Software, and Pandemic Studios.

McWilliams was also creative director of MMO Free Realms at Sony Online Entertainment and worked with the firm from 2006 until 2011.

Among her executive positions, she was chief creative officer for five years with Skydance Interactive.

In 2018, she joined Microsoft and last served as principal creative design director.

McWilliams was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Game Developer's Choice Awards in 2021.

Throughout her career, she worked on games that included Gears of War 4, Full Spectrum Warrior, and Archangel.

McWilliams was eulogized on social media by games industry professionals such as Kari Toyama.

She said, "Laralyn McWilliams was a fiercely talented game developer who dedicated so much time to sharing her knowledge with others. She was kind and genuine, and we will miss her. Rest easy."

Correction: This article previously stated McWilliams died by cancer rather than complications related to heart surgery. We have amended the copy.

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Jeffrey Rousseau avatar
Jeffrey Rousseau: Jeffrey joined in March 2021. Based in Florida, his work focused on the intersectionality of games and media. He enjoys reading, podcasts, staying informed, and learning how people are tackling issues.
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