Longtime UK game developer Stewart Gilray died on Thursday after contracting Covid-19 in December, reports GamesIndustry.biz. Gilray founded game studio Just Add Water in 2006, specializing in ports and remaster work as well as developing original games.
Gilray's game development career stretches back well before the founding of Just Add Water. In the early '90s he was a programmer on Amiga games including Darkmere, published by Tomb Raider studio Core Design, and Bullfrog Productions' Powermonger, designer Peter Molyneux's follow-up to Populous.
Gilray's studio Just Add Water is best known for helping revitalize the Oddworld series. In 2010, Just Add Water took on the development of Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD, bringing the unique shooter to PC and new consoles. The studio went on to create an HD port of Oddworld: Munch's Odysee, and also co-developed Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty, a full remake of the first game in the series.
According to GameIndustry.biz, Gilray was hospitalized with Covid-19 on December 20. He died on January 6 at the age of 51.
Developers have posted messages on Twitter eulogizing Gilray since the news broke.
"It's unbelievable to think that we lost Stewart Gilray today at the young age of 51," wrote Digitical Eclipse studio head Mike Mika. "CEO and Founder of Just Add Water, but more so a prominent figure and blueprint for success in games, not just monetary success, but success in everything that matters. RIP."
"Covid cut short his life and destroyed so much. He was the nicest bloke I knew, stubborn as hell, and always there for me," wrote Q-Games CEO Dylan Cuthbert.
Gilray is survived by his wife, a son, and daughter.