Gaming audio legend Richard Joseph died yesterday at the age of 53, following a short battle against lung cancer.
Joseph was responsible for an incredible list of British-developed videogaming classics over the past twenty years, including Sensible Soccer, The Chaos Engine and Cannon Fodder.
Close friend Jon Hare revealed the tragic news to Eurogamer this morning, and described Joseph as "one of my closest friends."
"He was one the pioneering British computer gaming musicians - and one of the best," added Hare.
After a stint as an EMI-signed recording artist, Joseph broke into videogaming in the mid-80s with Palace, penning memorable soundtracks for several hit C64 games such as Barbarian and Cauldron 2.
But some of his best-loved work came about when he hooked up with Hare at Sensible Software and began a long-standing stint with the developer.
"He worked on everything from 3D Tennis onwards," said Hare, "including Mega-Lo-Mania, Wizkid, Sensible Soccer, Cannon Fodder, Sensible Golf, and even last year's Sensible Soccer 2006.
"But he didn't just do the music - he'd arrange songs I'd written, do the sound effects, the lot."
Indeed, the BAFTA-winning Joseph was one of the pioneers of sampling in games, with many Bitmap Brothers tunes featuring well-known artists of the era such as Betty Boo. But his own creations for Sensible were perhaps his best known work, such as the controversial "War Has Never Been So Much Fun" tune in Cannon Fodder and, of course, "Goal Scoring Superstar Hero" used in Sensible Soccer.
During his time at The Bitmap Brothers, he pushed game soundtracks to the forefront of the experience, in titles such as Gods, Speedball 2 and The Chaos Engine. The latter, in particular, featured a pulsating interactive soundtrack that ebbed and flowed with the action, creating a tense audio backdrop to the proceedings.
Later in Joseph's distinguished career, he also gained recognition at Electronic Arts, gaining a BAFTA award for his work on Theme Park World. More recently, he contributed soundtracks to Elixir's Republic and Evil Genius.