Famed Game Developer Archer Maclean Passes Away At 60

The legendary creator of Dropzone and International Karate, has unfortunately left us on Christmas Eve.

Modern gaming is a bigger industry than music and film combined, making it a true behemoth. However, it didn’t reach this height out of anywhere, decades of groundwork was present beforehand for our current developers. One of the people who laid this basis through his influential creations, was popular by the name of Archer Maclean.

A video game programmer and creator, Maclean made some significant titles like Dropzone and International Karate in the 80s. He left his mark on a generation of young gamers, a lot of whom create what we play today. Sadly, Archer Maclean died on December 24, 2022, this Christmas Eve.

Major Takeaways

  • Archer Maclean has unfortunately passed away at age 60.
  • The creator of legendary titles like Dropzone, IK+, and Jimmy White’s Whirlwind Snooker, he influenced a generation of gamers.
  • He passed away on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2022.

The Code Show on Twitter first reported this news yesterday on Christmas. The creator’s Wikipedia page was updated to inform the masses of his untimely demise. It’s safe to say everyone is in shock after the demise of the legendary creator.

Several popular retro gaming publications expressed their sadness on this news. Arcade Archive had a sweet story to tell about him, saying they played Nintendo Sherrif with Maclean. In the Tweet, the publication also called him a prolific video game designer, and that is true.

Retro Gamer Magazine also paid tribute to the inspiring game developer. Archer Maclean used to write columns for the magazine, so this message definitely hit hard. The magazine quoted some of his best games including Archer Maclean’s Pool and offered their thoughts to his family and friends.

Everyone remembers Maclean as a visionary and a pioneer, and for good reason. He created one of the best early fighter games in the form of IK+. The game was a sequel to his first International Karate and Archer Maclean built for the Commodore 64 system. 

But, his best work according to many is the horizontally scrolling shooter, Dropzone for the Atari 8-bit Family. It made its way to the Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Cube, and Game Boy color later on. Hence, the game was a big title during its time.

Archer Maclean took inspiration from Defender, which is one of the most important games of the golden era of arcades. However, many think that Dropzone is a better game than the standard it takes influence from. Something like this further displays the genius that was Archer Maclean. 

He has another famous title in the form of Jimmy White’s Whirlwind Snooker. At the time of its release, the game was called the most realistic snooker game of all time thanks to its brilliant design. PC Gamer UK called it the 37th-best computer in history back in 1994, which was a big deal in itself. 

Whirlwind Snooker was just another groundbreaking invention in Archer Maclean’s portfolio. He was a star in British game developer circles for his impact on video games. For example, his snooker game was so realistic that actual player could improve their game on it.

Seeing all of his achievements, it’s a pity that he passed away so early. Archer Maclean was only 60 years old, which isn’t that much. Our thoughts go out to his family and may he rest in eternal peace.

Similar Reads: Mike Watson, Prolific Saints Row Modder, and Developer, Has Passed Away

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Ahmed Mansoor is a News Writer who has a deep passion for single-player adventure games. He loves to keep tabs on the gaming and technology industries and loves to break stories that interest his audience. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and several years of experience writing for games. Experience: 3+ Years || Education: Bachelor's in Journalism || Written 600+ News Stories.

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