Writer and Narrative Designer at Ubisoft Russell Lees recently passed away. While the time and cause of death have not been made public, the announcement was made by his colleague, Narrative Director Darby McDevitt, on January 6, 2022.
“We lost a dear friend and brilliant colleague this week,” McDevitt said. “Writer and Narrative Designer Russell Lees was a part of the Assassin's Creed and Far Cry families for over a decade. All who worked with him will attest to his patience, his generosity, his passion, and his bright spirit.”
Lees got started in the games industry in 1995 as a Creative Director at Inscape where he adapted the works of Edgar Allan Poe to produce a horror game called The Dark Eye. Lees also held positions at Sensory Sweep, Zoesis, and Pandemic where he worked on Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers. Lees joined Ubisoft in 2009. He remained at the company for 13 years.
While he worked on Far Cry and Watch Dogs, Lees was mostly known for his contributions to the Assassin’s Creed franchise. He was responsible for a lot of the writing in Valhalla, Origins, Syndicate, Unity, and Assassin’s Creed 3. He also wrote portions of Far Cry New Dawn and Watch Dogs 2.
Several of his current and former colleagues have been sharing their memories and expressing their condolences. "He will be missed and remembered always as the most ideal artist in this busy, hectic industry — devoted, collaborative, patient, and kind beyond measure," McDevitt said.
Narrative Designer Kate MacMullin remarked that “he was one of the kindest people I’ve had the privilege of working with.” Lees and MacMullin collaborated on the Assassin’s Creed Crossover Stories.
Principal Writer at Eidos Ethan Petty also paid tribute to Lees. "He was one of the kindest people I've ever worked with and had an incredible sense of humor," he said. "His work brought thrills and laughs to millions of players. He will be greatly missed." Petty had previously worked with Lees on Watch Dogs 2.
The games industry loses a legend with Lees, but his work will continue to inspire players long into the future. The veteran will be missed, but never forgotten.
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