The official Catan website has announced that Klaus Teuber, who created the massively popular Settlers of Catan board game in 1995, has died at age 70 following "a brief and severe illness."
Settlers of Catan, as it was originally known, challenges players to establish, develop, and expand settlements on the fictional island of Catan. It was first released in Germany in 1995, and has enjoyed massive, global success since then: The Catan website says the game is now available in more than 40 languages and has sold over 40 million copies worldwide.
That popularity resulted in numerous expansions and spinoffs including card games, a dice game, a version for children, and licensed editions based on Star Trek and Game of Thrones. It also spawned multiple videogames on pretty much every platform you can imagine (even the N_Gage) including the browser-based Catan Universe, which we described as "a free opportunity to hate your friends" for hoarding grain (also available on Steam) and a VR version for Rift and Samsung Gear VR headsets.
Teuber is best known for Catan, but he also won Game of the Year awards in Germany for three other creations: Barbarossa in 1988, Adel Verpflichtet (Hoity Toity) in 1990, and Drunter und Drüber (Under and Over) in 1991. His accomplishments are even more impressive because designing games was just a hobby until 1999, when he retired from his regular job as a dental technician.
"While Klaus' contributions to the board gaming industry are immeasurable, we will remember him most as a kind and selfless human being, an inspirational leader, and most importantly, as friend," Catan Studio said in a message shared on Twitter. "His legacy will continue to inspire and shape the gaming community for years to come.
"We encourage you to honor Klaus' memory by being kind to one another, pursuing your creative passions fearlessly, and enjoying a game with your loved ones. Klaus' impact on the world of gaming will never be forgotten."