In addition to saddening the world at large, the tragic death of World Rally Championship driver Colin McRae has sent shock waves through the video game industry, due to the series of popular racing titles that bear his name.
McRae was killed on September 15 in a helicopter crash that also claimed the life of his five year old son and two family friends. Codemasters, who recently published Colin McRae DIRT, issued the following statement expressing their sympathy over the fatal accident:
"Everyone at Codemasters, especially those who worked directly with Colin McRae, is deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic events of this weekend.
The loss of Colin McRae is deeply distressing. That it involved his son and another so young makes it even more tragic. Our thoughts are with his family and those closest to him and we share in their pain.
For over ten years, Colin was part of the Codemasters family and it was a privilege to have a man recognised as a true legend on the team. He always took a keen interest in the game experience, wanting to make sure it was without equal in its portrayal of the sport.
His contribution was inspirational and brought his technical expertise and passion for rally driving to each and every McRae game. Through the popularity of those games, he brought a whole new audience to the sport itself.
Codemasters' relationship with Colin began through Jim, David and Richard Darling and their condolences, along with ours, are passed to Colin's family. We are heavy of heart at his passing but we are also brimming with pride at knowing him and to have played a small role in his life.
He will never be forgotten by all at Codemasters."
The future of the Colin McRae gaming franchise remains uncertain at this point, though we feel it safe to assume the brand will be retired in respect for his memory.