Laralyn McCWilliams, an industry veteran, has passed away

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Laralyn Williams, a veteran game designer who died at the age of 58, has been sadly missed.

The influential developer died on February 5th 2024 after a battle against cancer. She is best-known for her work as the creative director of Sony Online Entertainment’s Free Realms as well as Full Spectrum Warrior, and Sid Meier’s Pirates.

She has been credited with projects such as Gears of War 4, The Walking Dead Saints and Sinners, and Nightdive’s System Shock remake.

McWilliams’ long and distinguished career was recognized in 2021 when she received the Lifetime Achievement Award during the Game Developers Choice Awards.

On Twitter, McWilliams’ industry peers paid tribute to him. 

“Laralyn McCWilliams, a true OG and close friend of the gaming industry,” Brenda Romero, a fellow development vet, wrote.

It took me forever to write through tears and figure out what I wanted. I remember crying during one of her cancer battles, thinking “You have to write down what you know!” Write a book. It’s going to be lost.’ Yet, in the window of time between her passing and this post, I’ve seen dozens and dozens of people talk about what she shared with them, what they learned, and so I suppose she left her mark on people, on games, on designs, and I think she’d like that a lot more than pages in a book that can be closed. Rest in peace, Laralyn. Thank you for all you’ve done, and thanks for being my friend.”

Adam Orth has been added“I was very saddened today to hear about the death of Laralyn. She was so kind, a fighter and an inspiration. She had to face incomprehensible medical battles, but she always made the most of each day. Today, the game industry lost a special person.

“RIP, Laralyn.”

Meanwhile, Private Division’s KariToyama said“Laralyn was a talented game developer, who spent a lot of time sharing her knowledge. She was kind and sincere and we will miss. “Rest easy.”

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