Landon Montgomery, co-founder of Gearbox Software, has died. The news was confirmed on Wednesday by the official Gearbox Software Twitter account.
"We are heartbroken after learning today of the passing of one of our co-founders, Landon Montgomery," the statement reads. "In our earliest years, Landon played a big role in helping to set our path. We will always be thankful and remember him for being a part of our lives. During this trying time, our thoughts, support, and affection are with those who were closest to him."
Montgomery worked at Bethesda Softworks as an artist and level designer on The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard and An Elder Scrolls Adventure: Battlespire, before co-founding Gearbox Software in 1999. Following that, he worked on some of the best known game series of the previous decade, including Half-Life, Brothers in Arms, Halo: Combat Evolved, and Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3, before leaving the studio in 2010. Montgomery remained involved with games, however, working as esports program director at marketing firm The Richards Group and then as general manager at MMO studio Daybreak Game Company. In late 2019 he took up a producer position at Nvidia.
Gearbox co-founder Randy Pitchford paid tribute to Montgomery in a lengthy and heartfelt thread on Twitter:
Landon will live on in the memory of our earliest games from our work with Half-Life and Halo to the creation of our first, original game Brothers in Arms. Aloha, Landon. https://t.co/vuBi3MYJp5March 25, 2020
I remember when we threw a 4th of July party for the team on the roof of the old Gearbox building and we had a live band and some of our dudes launched some fireworks and Landon helped keep the landlord and the fire chief cool the next day when they came sniffing around about it.March 26, 2020
In 2015, Montgomery shared a story about the birth and early days of Gearbox in a blog post at clickherelabs.com. A project he'd been working on at a small studio called Rebel Boat Rocker had been cancelled, and the company was breaking up as a result.
"A week after we shuttered Rebel Boat Rocker’s doors, we received a call from Gabe Newell, the founder and president of Valve Software. A bunch of us who'd stayed in Dallas, wondering what to do next, had applied at Valve, so it wasn’t a complete surprise for them to be calling. But Gabe calling? That was a little peculiar," he wrote. After some "short and sweet" questions, Newell cut to the chase, asking if they'd be interested in doing a Half-Life expansion.
"Needless to say, Randy Pitchford, Brian Martel, Stephen Bahl, Rob Heironimus and I decided to stick around, and Gearbox Software was born on Valentine's Day 1999."
The cause of Montgomery's death was not provided.