Industry stalwart David De Martini has died.
De Martini joined EA in 1998, leading the golf series Tiger Woods PGA Tour and producing film spin-off The Godfather.
From 2006, he headed up the EA Partners programme, collaborating with developers including Harmonix, Crytek, Double Fine, Valve, Epic, Insomniac and Respawn to publish games including Rock Band, Portal 2 and Titanfall under the EA label.
Following the news of De Martini’s passing, Double Fine’s Tim Schafer said he was an "early supporter of Brutal Legend", adding: “[It] probably would not have happened without him.”
De Martini later oversaw the launch of EA’s PC distribution service Origin in 2010, before leaving the company in 2013 after a 15-year stint to join VR specialist Oculus.
He left Oculus less than a year later, after Facebook’s acquisition of the firm. He started up his own business, De Martini Consulting, and continued to work with studios, including serving on the board of Side-Kick Games.
"David DeMartini was an institution here at EA for many years,” EA said in a statement posted to Twitter.
“His trademark wit, passion and warmth shaped every team, game and project he touched. We’ve lost a great one, and our hearts go out to his family, friends and everyone that had the great fortune to know him. DeMar will be truly missed."
Geoff Keighley announced De Martini’s death on Facebook, writing: “You may not know his name, but he had a huge impact on the industry.
“DeMar, who always loved to wear a Kangol, was a frequent guest on my shows. He was a great interview, but above all else was a steadfast supporter of all that I did. He loved big ideas and bold business deals. I could always count on him.”
De Martini’s son Dominic later confirmed the news to Polygon, stating that his father had passed away following complications during a lung transplant. He was 56.