Mention the big name publisher/developer Electronic Arts (otherwise more commonly known as EA in most wider gaming circles) and you get a mixed cocktail of reactions. Some roll their eyes, a few shrug, but most gnash their teeth in frustration. Known for its sports games, as well as long-time adult simulator series The Sims, and pretty much held solely responsible for the gaping holes present in Mass Effect 2. Recently, the titan pub/dev’s have branched away from the most celebrated video gme convention anywhere, E3, to create their own spcial EA convention being called EA Play.
Well, EA is maming headlines again this week, but not for any of the reasons above. Earlier this week, David De Martini, a well known and well loved game industry executive–who made his name at Electronic Arts during his time overseeing franchises such as Tiger Woods PGA Tour and working alongiside EA Partners–has suddenly passed away at the age of 56.
Originally announced on Twitter by Geoff Keighley in a touching tweet, the gaming industry has expressed in sorrows slowly while processing the blow. Many figures in the gaming industry paid their repsects and condolenses, including Double Fine’s helmsmen and CEO, Tim Shafer.
The game industry lost a legend today: David DeMartini. He was a huge part of EA, EAPartners. An amazing man who loved his Kangol.
— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) June 2, 2016
Sad news today about David DeMartini. A great guy, & an early supporter of Brütal Legend at EA. Probably would not have happened w/o him!
— TimOfLegend (@TimOfLegend) June 2, 2016
The tweets were legitmized when de Martini’s son confirmed the story via a press release with trustworth video game news outlet, Polygon. According to Polygon who learned through the de Martini family, Mr. Martini passed “yesterday morning at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, California, of complications from a lung transplant.”
In a phone interview, Dominic De Martini said his father was a passionate sports fan. David De Martini loved to play tennis and golf, and cheer for his hometown teams: the San Francisco 49ers — for whom David De Martini and his father held season tickets for “like 50 years,” according to Dominic De Martini — and Giants, as well as the Golden State Warriors.
De Martini worked for EA for over 15 years, leaving in 2013 to begin venturing into work with VR. He worked alongside upcoming VR titans Occulus, who had this to say on his passing:
David DeMartini was an early pioneer at Oculus and we were fortunate to learn from him, to call him a friend and to experience his incredible determination and infectious humor. He will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with his family and friends right now.
Everyone at MXDWN wishes the best for his friends, collugues, and family.