Douglas Smith, creator of 1980s PC-gaming milestone Lode Runner, dies

Owen S. Good

The creator of Lode Runner, one of the seminal works of 1980s PC gaming, has died. Douglas E. Smith passed away this week, according to the company that currently owns the title.

Tozai Games, which publishes Lode Runner remakes for console and mobile platforms, tweeted news of Smith's death and later followed that with a statement on its website.

It is with great sadness that we learned today of the passing of our friend and colleague, Douglas Smith, the creator of the iconic game, Lode Runner. Our hearts and prayers are with Doug's family during this difficult time. In Doug's honor, we call on the legions of Lode Runner fans everywhere to take a private moment to reflect on your own personal memories of Lode Runner. What a contribution Doug made to the video game industry.

Doug, from all of us at Tozai, and from all of your fans, may you rest in peace.

Released in 1983 for the Apple ][ and Commodore 64, Lode Runner was a puzzle-platformer in which the player was tasked with navigating a level, collecting all of the gold it contained, and reaching the next level by exiting the top of the screen. It was one of the first games to include a level editor. In later years, ports of the game reached the Nintendo Entertainment System and Nintendo DS, Xbox 360 and mobile devices.

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