David DeMartini, an instrumental executive during the early days of the Oculus Rift, has passed away at the age of 56.
DeMartini (known to many as “DeMar”) was reportedly due to receive a lung transplant as a part of an ongoing medical condition. His daughter posted to Facebook on Tuesday that complications following the surgery had unfortunately claimed her father’s life.
Before joining Oculus in December of 2013 as its head of worldwide publishing, DeMar spent 15 years at Electronic Arts. It was there that he helped revolutionize the golf-game genre through classic titles such as Tiger Woods PGA Tour. He was also responsible for shaping and leading EA’s well known Partners program, allying the business with other developers. DeMar spent eight months at Oculus before leaving to become a consultant.
An outpouring of support on social media from industry figureheads like Tim Schafer indicates that will be remembered for much more than just his contributions to the gaming world. DeMar’s former employers expressed their condolences as well. In a statement, EA said that, “David DeMartini was an institution here at EA for many years. His trademark wit, passion and warmth shaped every team, game and project he touched. We’ve lost a great one, and our hearts go out to his family, friends and everyone that had the great fortune to know him. DeMar will be truly missed.”
Oculus also issued a farewell to a man who, despite only serving with the company for less than a year, clearly possessed the talent and personality to be remembered fondly.
David DeMartini was an early pioneer at Oculus and we were fortunate to learn from him, to call him a friend and to experience his incredible determination and infectious humor. He will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with his family and friends right now.
We at UploadVR wish the DeMartini family all the best in this difficult time and thank DeMar for all he did to benefit the industry we love.