Benoît Sokal, the creator of the cult adventures series, Syberia, has died aged 66.
Video game developer Microids confirming earlier today that Brussels-born Sokal had died yesterday, May 28, after battling an unspecified long-term illness.
Described as "first and foremost as a storyteller and talented comic book artist", a press release from the company said Sokal "contributed hugely to advancing the video game medium internationally, through a varied and prolific output over the past 25 years".
It’s with extreme sadness and heavy hearts that the Microids team must announce the death of Benoît Sokal, who passed on the 28th of May 2021 after battling a long-term illness. The entire Microids team share the grief of his family and friends.https://t.co/FkLUwBn7F9 pic.twitter.com/XGBdvjEDriMay 29, 2021
"A true visionary and extremely talented artist, Benoît left an indelible mark on Microids’ history," a press release said. "He worked hard to share his vision with the world, starting in 1999 with his first title, Amerzone. His distinctive style made the various universes he built unforgettable for thousands of players worldwide, even earning him the position of art director at Microids for a time.
"Benoît is also known and revered for creating the cult Syberia games. This was a series in which he brilliantly transposed his love for all things Eastern European, all encompassed in unique and singular adventures cherished and loved by a loyal army of fans.
"The entire Microids team share the grief of his family and friends."
Tributes from game makers who were inspired by their early adventures in Syberia have poured in across social media.
The studio added that "despite his prolific career in video games", Sokal "never let go of his original passion", and released the graphic novel Kraa in 2010, as well as the first graphic novel based on, Aquarica – the series he co-wrote with François Schuiten – in 2017.