Arthur Houtman, gaming industry veteran and CEO of Vertigo Games, has died.
The news comes from a statement on the Vertigo Games website, where the company shared news of Houtman’s passing. Houtman co-founded two companies, Vanguard Games and Force Field, which were acquired by Embracer Group Vertigo Games’ VR division in August 2021. Houtman remained with the company after its acquisition, serving as Managing Director of Vertigo Studios Amsterdam .
Vertigo Games wrote that Houtman had “helped” turn the small independent studio into a thriving business. He noted that even though he reached retirement age in 2021, he continued to work at Vertigo Studios Amsterdam to help navigate his newly acquired corporate status.
“It is extremely unfair that he has not had the chance to take this final step and go enjoy a well-deserved retirement after all the hard work he has put into our business,” the studio noted. . “Arthur will be remembered as a maverick who never minced his words, but was always honest and focused on the end result.”
“He was above all a humble, generous and kind man and a source of advice for anyone who wanted to take advantage of his 30 years of work in the world of video games.”
Colleagues on social media described Houtman as “one of the most incredible and genuine people you will ever meet in this industry” and “a true gentleman, a great friend and a very talented professional”.
Houtman began his career in the video game industry as a producer on various CD-ROM prototypes, eventually landing at Infrogames (the company that would become Atari) as production manager. He would later work at Disney Online Studios before leaving to co-found Vanguard Games.
Vanguard Games would find some success with a pair of licensed games Halo titles called Halo: Spartan Assault and Halo: Spartan Strike before turning to the development of virtual reality under the name of Force Field. He released games like Landing and roller coaster fight before being bought by the publisher of Arizona Sun.
Houtman is survived by his wife Bridget and son Arno. Vanguard Games has invited friends and colleagues to leave their condolences here.