Category Archives: Obituaries

Fergus McGovern, co-founder of Probe Software, has passed away

Fergus McGovern with some of Hotgen's products
Fergus McGovern with some of Hotgen’s products

Reports are coming in from various sources that Fergus McGovern, co-founder of Probe Software founded in 1984 with Vakis Paraskeva, has died.

Probing into Probe

Probe Software, later renamed Probe Entertainment, was one of the UK’s top games software houses, being acquired by Acclaim Entertainment Inc. on October 10, 1995.

Fergus McGovern in Probe days (pic Amstrad Computer User)
Fergus McGovern in Probe days (pic Amstrad Computer User)

Probe developed games on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64/128, Amiga, Sega Master System, Game Boy, Game Gear, Mega Drive/Genesis, NES, Super NES, Saturn, PlayStation, N64 and PC before moving to Dreamcast, Nintendo Gamecube, Xbox, PS2 and PC as well, after becoming  Acclaim Studios (see below).

Probe Software closing logo

An article in Amstrad Computer User magazine (issue 45, August 1988) tells much of the early story of Probe and Fergus McGovern, and is reproduced below – click to enlarge for reading.

 

ACU Aug 1988 p24 (click to enlarge)
ACU Aug 1988 p24 (click to enlarge)

 

ACU Aug 1988 p25 (click to enlarge)
ACU Aug 1988 p25 (click to enlarge)
 Acclaim Studios

In 1999, Probe Entertainment became Acclaim Studios London and a year later, changed to Acclaim Studios Cheltenham. Their USA based parent company, Acclaim, declared bankruptcy in 2004.

It was responsible for developing Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat II for theSega Mega Drive and Extreme-G and Extreme-G 2 for Nintendo 64. They were also well known for successful licensed games such as Die Hard Trilogy and Alien Trilogy.

HotGen

HotGen Ltd logo

After Acclaim, Mr. McGovern went on to found HotGen Ltd (formerly HotGen Sudios Ltd), the London-based veteran videogame and interactive toy developers, and creators of To-Fu Fury, which today announced his passing away on Twitter:

HotGen Ltd on Twitter earlier this evening
HotGen Ltd on Twitter earlier this evening
Condolences

Retro Computing News would like to offer our sincere condolences to Mr. McGovern’s family, friends and colleagues on this sad occasion.

Messages of sympathy have been coming in to his Facebook page this evening.

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Amiga engineer Dave Needle passes away

Dave Needle (left) and R.J. Mical with the Atari Lynx c.1989 (pic courtesy R.J. Mical)
Dave Needle (left) and R.J. Mical with the Atari Lynx c.1989 (pic courtesy R.J. Mical)

One of the engineers most closely associated with the creation of the Amiga computer, launched in July 1985, has passed away.

Along with Jay Miner, Dave Needle was instrumental in the completion of the Lorraine project (eventually known as the Amiga 1000).

He was one of the main engineers of the custom chips of the Amiga computer while working at Amiga Corporation, which later became part of Commodore International.

The Amiga 1000 (pic Wikipedia)
The Amiga 1000 (pic Wikipedia)

Later, Mr Needle co-invented the Atari Lynx and the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer after being reunited with fellow Amiga Corporation engineer R. J. Mical at Epyx.

Dave Needle passed away peacefully on the evening of Friday 19 February, 2016.

Retro Computing News would like to offer our sincere condolences to Mr Needle’s family, friends and colleagues on this sad occasion. He will not be forgotten.