British video game industry legend David Lawson dies

David Lawson, the British video game giant who co-founded Imagine Software and Psygnosis, died aged 62 in August, according to Eurogamer.

Lawson co-founded Imagine Software in 1982 at the age of 23, where he found great success with the boom in the UK games industry. In its first year, Imagine Software reportedly grossed £ 1million per month.

At Imagine, Lawson is credited with early successes from Imagine Software such as Arcadia and Ah Diddum. At its peak, Imagine Software had over 80 people and also founded a race to participate in the Isle of Man TT race.

1984, Imagine Software collapsed and it was captured entirely by the BBC. A film crew on site in Liverpool was filming a documentary on the UK gaming scene and managed to capture bailiffs descended on Imagine Software. Their latest games in production, psyclapse and Bandersnatch, never published.

The latter’s name was reused for the interactive Charlie Brooker episode of the Netflix series, Black mirror.

John Gibson, former senior programmer at Imagine, paid tribute to David on social media.

“It’s sad to say that one of the founding fathers of the UK games industry has passed away. Dave Lawson, founder of Imagine Software, passed away on August 10th.

“Dave’s enthusiasm for computer games was limitless. It was this enthusiasm that led him to design Bandersnatch and Psyclapse, two revolutionary games that unfortunately never saw the light of day.

“Dave has always meant a lot to me because he gave me my first job in the games industry. He made a bet on me when I had nothing to recommend him other than my enthusiasm. will be eternally grateful for taking this bet.

“Rest in peace Dave. Thank you for my 32 year career.

His companion, Tracey Walker, also paid a moving tribute to the British software giant.

“After our marriage, we spent six years living in the United States in San Francisco and Virginia,” she said. “We had a crazy life! He was unique, that’s for sure. He passed away in Wirral Hospital and was loved by me and his children, Rheia and Poppy, until the end.