David Ward, co-founder of Ocean Software, has died aged 75

David Ward, co-founder of influential British developer and publisher Ocean Software and a game development pioneer in the UK, has died aged 75.

Born in 1947, Ward co-founded Ocean Software (as ‘Spectrum Games’) with Jon Woods in 1983 and would become one of Europe’s largest game publishers, with titles such as Platoon, Top Gun and Daley Thompson’s Decathalon.

The Manchester-based company is credited with setting up much of the commercial, legal and technical framework that helped turn game making from a hobby into a global venture.

News of Ward’s death was confirmed Monday by his son Ben.

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In 2004, Ward and Woods were inducted into the ELSPA Hall of Fame for their contributions to the game industry.

“Many people consider Ocean Software to be pioneers who have helped turn the UK’s computer and video games into a truly multinational enterprise,” said ELSPA Director General Roger Bennett at the time.

“Together, Ward and Woods invented much of the game industry’s terminology and set many of its milestones in motion, including the use of traditional media brands and franchises and the formal processes for protecting intellectual property.”

In 1996 Ocean Software merged with Infogrames for £100 million. Ocean remained a separate division of Infogrames until 1998 when it was renamed Infogrames United Kindom Limited.

Britain’s game trader UKIE said in a statement on Monday: “We are saddened to hear of the passing of David Ward, who was the co-founder of pioneering Manchester-based game development and publishing house Ocean Software. Our thoughts are with his friends and family.”

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David Ward Credits

A-Jax – Producer
ALCON – Producer
android Two – Producer
Arkanoid – Producer
Arkanoid: Revenge of DOH – Producer
Armageddon – Producer
Army Movements – Producer
Athens – Producer
Bad Dudes – Producer
Batman: The Caped Crusader – Producer
Battle Command – Producer
Boot Camp – Producer
Cabal – Producer
Cavelon – Producer
Chase HQ – Producer
Chase HQ II: Special Criminal Investigation – Producer
cobra- Amsterdam Producer
Comic Bakery – Producer
Contra – Producer
Cosmic Wartoad – Producer
Cosmo Police Galivan – Producer
Daley Thompson’s Decathlon – Producer
Daley Thompson’s Olympic Challenge – Producer
Darkman – Producer
Double Take – Producer
Eco – Producer
Eskimo Eddie – Producer
Firefly – Producer
Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Producer
Freddy Hardest – Producer
Game Over – Producer
Gift from the Gods – Producer
Gilligan’s Gold – Producer
Head Over Heels – Producer
High Noon – Producer
Highlander – Producer
Whistleblower – Producer
Hunchback II: Quasimodo’s Revenge – Producer
Whistleblower: The Adventure – Producer
Hyper Sports – Producer
It’s a Knockout – Producer
Jonny and the Jimmys – Producer
Konami‘s Golf – Producer
Kong strikes back! – Producer
Life Force – Producer
Lost Patrol – Producer
Madballs – Producer
MagMax – Producer
Mailstrom – Producer
Match Day II – Producer
Miami Vice – Producer
Midnight Resistance – Producer
Mikie – Producer
Moon Alert – Producer
Film producer
NOMAD – Producer
NARC – Producer
Navy Seals – Producer
Nightmare Rally – Producer
Ninja Gaiden – Producer
Operation Wolf – Producer
Pang – Producer
Parallax – Producer
Parasol Stars: The Story of Bubble Bobble III – Producer
Phantom Club – Producer
Ping Pong – Producer
Plotting – Producer
Psycho Soldier – Producer
Pud Pud in Weird World – Producer
Puzznic – Producer
Rainbow Islands – Producer
Rambo III – Producer
Rastan – Producer
Red Heat – Producer
Renegade – Producer
Renegade III: The Final Chapter – Producer
RoboCop – Producer
RoboCop 2 – Producer
Roland’s Ratrace – Producer
Rollerball – Producer
Run the gauntlet – Producer
Rush’n Attack – Producer
Short circuit – Manufacturer
Sly Spy: Secret Agent – ​​Producer
Space Gun – Producer
Street Hawk – Producer
Super Football – Producer
TLL: Tornado Low Level – Producer
Tank – Producer
Target Audience: Renegade – Producer
Terra Cresta – Producer
The Great Escape – Producer
The Legend of Kage – Producer
The Neverending Story – Producer
The Story of New Zealand – Producer
The Slugger – Producer
The Finder! – Producer
Toki: Going Ape Spit – Producer
Total Recall – Manufacturer
Transformers – Producer
Transversion – Producer
Voyager – Producer
WEC Le Mans – Producer
Where time stood still – Producer
Wild Wheels – Producer
Wizadore – Producer
Wizball – Producer
Yie Ar Kung-Fu 2: The Emperor Yie-Gah – Producer