September 7, 2021

One of the Key Engineers Behind God of War's Leviathan Axe Has Died

George Mawle, a former gameplay engineer at Sony Santa Monica described as one of the "fathers" of God of War's much-loved Leviathan Axe, sadly died on September 2.

Mawle worked at Sony Santa Monica as a programmer during the studio's work on the 2018 PS4 exclusive, God of War. His work on the game's signature Leviathan Axe, as well as a number of other gameplay features, will be remembered by fans and co-workers for years to come. Sony Santa Monica creative director Cory Barlog described Mawle as "an amazingly funny, smart and warm human being. He was one of the fathers of the Leviathan feel. Without his curiosity and intellect those moments of pure joy recalling the axe would never have existed. "

Studio lead combat designer Mihir Sheth worked with Mawle during his time at Sony Santa Monica and was just one of many who paid tribute to the late engineer on social media.

In a thread on Twitter, Sheth explained, "If you've ever enjoyed throwing & recalling the Leviathan Axe, or twirling the chains of the Blades of Chaos in GOW'18, please take a moment to recognize that it was possible in large part to the engineering and energy of George Mawle."

Like many others throughout his 20+ year career in game development, I sat next to or near George everyday for over five years, have worked with him through thick and thin, and have been hit hard by the shocking news.

— Mihir Sheth (@youtheremehere) September 4, 2021

Sheth continued elsewhere in the thread, "At SMS, he worked on Kratos' weaponry, navigation, RPG systems, a myriad of combat behaviours, improvements to the scripting system to empower designers, and SO much more. He was a veteran on the team who played a huge role in closing out the game and squashing bugs."

Whilst God of War was the last published title that Mawle left his mark on, his career spanned a number of other games including but not limited to Prototype 2, Crash of the Titans, and Scarface: The World is Yours. According to Sheth, the programmer enjoyed taking up a number of side projects in his time away from the studio too. The lead combat designer went on to say that Mawle would proudly show others his own homemade cookbooks, carpentry projects, and homemade films.

I had a chance to visit him and his wife Lisa at his home in Acton (named "The Snugglebug Ranch") and experience the legendary fully branded home theater he had built. He was extremely proud of it and pictures don't do it justice. pic.twitter.com/d6TZqmRHtS

— Mihir Sheth (@youtheremehere) September 4, 2021

In addition to Sheth, a number of other former co-workers and fans of Mawle's work across social media also took to social media to pay tribute to the late programmer. You can read a collection of some of their comments about him below:

If you loved God of War's gameplay George had a huge hand in it: he was the man who made the axe happen, driving nearly all the programming on it start to finish.

But his career was decades long. Across all sorts of projects he would excitedly tell you about in loving detail.

— Sam Handrick (@MDSVeritas) September 4, 2021

George was such an amazingly funny, smart and warm human being. He was one of the fathers of the Leviathan feel. Without his curiosity and intellect those moments of pure joy recalling the axe would never have existed.

Absolutely breaks my heart that he is gone.

RIP brother💔 https://t.co/ILpeSQUsk0

— cory barlog 🖖 (@corybarlog) September 6, 2021

The only good part about him leaving SMS a few months back was that it gave us the opportunity to say goodbye and say how much we’d miss being around each other.

I’ll aim to work more like Furious George and try to impact younger devs the way he impacted me. RIP, bruv.

— Anthony DiMento (@DiMentoXP) September 4, 2021

All of us at IGN offer our condolences to Mawle's family and friends.

Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN.

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

menu-circlecross-circle