Benoît Sokal, creator of the Syberia series, has died aged 66.
French video game company Microids said in a blog post that Sokal passed away on 28th May after battling a long-term illness.
Belgian comic book artist Sokal is perhaps best known in the world of video games for creating the Syberia adventure games. But his first game for Microids was 1999 adventure Amerzone, which was based on Sokal’s popular 1986 Inspector Canardo comic strip L’Amerzone .
“A true visionary and extremely talented artist, Benoît left an indelible mark on Microids’ history,” Microids 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.”
During these last months, Sokal was working with Microids and French developer Koalabs on the upcoming game Syberia: The World Before.
Tributes were posted to social media today by fans of Sokal’s lengthy and varied career.
Benoît Sokal died. This feels… personal. I remember playing Syberia as an early teen, remember gentle melancholy of places he let me visit, once thriving, now forgotten. It felt *real* and *right*, sad as it was. And full of charming whimsy too, to keep you from drowning. RIP. pic.twitter.com/V0motLKGJa
— You (@disneywastaken) May 29, 2021
RIP Benoît SOKAL, A great creator gone too early ? https://t.co/qUKcGtjRru
— TheDigitaLounge (@TheDigitaLounge) May 29, 2021
RIP Benoît Sokal
Syberia 1 and 2 defined my love for point and click games and, more importantly, burned their “crumbling remnants of luxury in a vaguely European place” aesthetic into my mind. The art direction on them is unparalleled.
Hope there’s mammoths on the other side pic.twitter.com/gB8v5JpK58
— Sem (@sammoUA) May 29, 2021
A truly sad day for the fans of Syberia and other incredible worlds created by Benoît Sokal ?
— Joana Maltez (@gatamalteza) May 29, 2021
To bring up the narrative power of #art in videogames, #Amerzone and #Syberia are some of the best examples we will ever have. The passion #BenoitSokal put in his work was extraordinary, like his impact on the French-Belgian comics scene. We’ve lost another great one#RIP pic.twitter.com/sqXgpndeCv
— Marco Tinè (@StriderCT) May 29, 2021