Mobile Gaming Pioneer Gordon Hall Dies At 51

Gordon Hall, founder of game studio Rockstar Leeds and developer of titles in the hugely successful Grand Theft Auto series, has died at 51.

Hall founded Möbius Entertainment in Leeds in 1997, focusing on productions for the GameBoy and GameBoy Advance handheld consoles.

After Möbius developed a handheld version of Max Payne, which was published by Rockstar Games, Rockstar parent Take Two acquired Möbius in 2004 and the studio became Rockstar Leeds.

The studio continued to focus on handheld devices with the PlayStation Portable system, including well-regarded spin-offs of the Grand Theft Auto franchise.

Image credit: Martyn Brown

Mobile development

These included Liberty City Stories, Vice City Stories and the highly acclaimed Chinatown Wars, released in 2008.

Hall was “instrumental” in the creation of Chinatown Wars, Rockstar said.

Grand Theft Auto, developed by Rockstar, is one of the top-selling games franchises of all time, with the handheld titles developed by Rockstar Leeds being amongst its best-received installations.

According to GameRankings, for instance, Chinatown Wars is the top-rated Nintendo DS game of all time, with a 93 percent average review score, with GameSpot also ranking the game as the top DS title ever.

Hall worked outside of Leeds at Rockstar’s San Diego studio for a time, helping to complete Red Dead Redemption, which shipped in 2010.

He remained president of Rockstar Leeds until his departure in 2012, when he departed for a research sabbatical focusing on player psychology and microtransactions strategy.

‘Pursuit of excellence’

He then served as chief creative officer for Activision Blizzard Mobile in 2013, joining Activision mobile subsidiary Blast Furnace in the same year.

Former colleague Martyn Brown, founder of Team17 and head of business development at Five Aces Publishing, called Hall “inspirational”.

“Gordon was simply brilliant to be around, incredibly motivating and ever-positive,” Brown said.

“His pursuit of excellence was staggering and he formed a great, trusting bond with those who chose to work (hard) alongside him. As a close friend, he was truly inspirational and socially speaking a real energetic one-off who could endlessly entertain at the drop of a hat, holding everyone in the palm of his hand.

“Gordon will be very sadly missed,” Brown said.

Rockstar Games said in a statement, “May he rest in peace, our condolences go out to his family and friends for their loss.”

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

Recent Posts

BT Eagle-i Seeks To Predict, Prevent Cyberattacks

Proactive security approach. New security platform from BT Security, dubbed 'Eagle-i', seeks to predict and…

2 days ago

Apple Risks South Korean Clash After Investigation Warning

South Korean government official warns of possible investigation into Apple's compliance with new App Store…

2 days ago

Moscow Metro Facial Recognition System For Speedy Payments

Privacy concern. Moscow's Metro system has launched 'Face Pay', a mass facial recognition system for…

2 days ago

US Army Delays $22 Billion Microsoft Augmented Reality Headsets

United States Army pushes back deployment date of Microsoft's augmented reality headsets, but insists it…

3 days ago

TSMC Confirms Chip Plant For Japan

Taiwanese chip giant TSMC confirms it will build a chip factory in Japan, that will…

3 days ago

GitLab Raises $800m In Successful Initial Public Offering

After a successful public debut that raised hundreds of millions of dollars, coding platform GitLab…

3 days ago