Jeff Freeman, Former SWG Lead Gameplay Designer, Dies

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Jeff Freeman, Former SWG Lead Gameplay Designer, Dies


Jeff Freeman, former Lead Gameplay Designer on Star Wars Galaxies, has tragically taken his own life.

Freeman had previously worked at Spacetime Studios as well as on Ultima Online, but is best known for his stint on Star Wars Galaxies, where he was unfortunate enough to become the public face of the "New Game Enhancements" update, one of the most infamous debacles in MMOG history. In a story from June 2007 [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/op-ed/801-SWG-NGE-Crying-Freeman], Allen Varney detailed how Freeman became the target of gamer rage over the NGE, even though his role in its development was minor.

Despite the fact that he continued to suffer online abuse at the hands of Star Wars Galaxies players unhappy with the NGE changes even after leaving Sony Online Entertainment in late 2006, Freeman's brother clarified that his suicide had nothing to do with the game. "I want everyone to know that it was not SWG that led him to take his life," he said. "He has been troubled for some time. There were a lot of personal issues that tore at him."

A memorial service will be held for Freeman in his hometown of Austin, Texas, on October 2. He was 39.




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Amnestic

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Aug 22, 2008
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The_root_of_all_evil post=7.72871.776205 said:
*raises a glass*

Difficult to add words without them becoming a cliche.
"May the Force be with you...always"?

Still, sad that he died, more sad that he committed suicide. :/ I find it hard to sympathise with people who commit suicide though, simply because it's something I view as one of the ultimate selfish acts.
 

ElArabDeMagnifico

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Dec 20, 2007
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Thanks for saying it before I did Amnestic, while this may spark a "is suicide justified?" debate, I'm still sticking with what I believe by just saying that I can't really offer condolences to someone who kills themselves, and that's saying something because I use to be suicidal and I had 2 friends take their own lives.

-but they have still died so I'm gonna give them that "default respect" because it's still a loss. May Jeff have fun toying with "The Force" in the afterlife!
 
Nov 28, 2007
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I agree with everything ElArabDeMagnifico, minus the suicidal part. Also haven't had a friend commit suicide, but I did have one make a damn good stab at it.
 

Amnestic

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Aug 22, 2008
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thebobmaster post=7.72871.776362 said:
I agree with everything ElArabDeMagnifico, minus the suicidal part. Also haven't had a friend commit suicide, but I did have one make a damn good stab at it.
Okay, now hold on. How can you *fail* to commit suicide? I mean, I know it happens but I'll be damned if 90% weren't merely seeking attention.

I can get it if you were interrupted before/during your attempt, but you'd think people would plan better for the last moments of their life.
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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I was contacted late tonight by John Donham, senior producer on Star Wars Galaxies and a former co-worker of Jeff Freeman. He had this to say:

"I wanted to mention Jeff was also the one who did the SWG pet system, one of the most praised game systems in the original SWG. I was the senior producer of SWG, I worked for Rich Vogel. I remember trying to cut the pet system because we were running out of time to ship the game, so he came in over a weekend and didn't go home, made the whole thing, and it was spectacular. One of the best design creations I've seen in 15 years of making online games. It's just a stunning and terrible loss, and Jeff being remembered for the NGE is such an injustice, when so much of his spectacular designs are what made the original SWG so special."
 

meatloaf231

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Feb 13, 2008
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Malygris post=7.72871.776688 said:
I was contacted late tonight by John Donham, senior producer on Star Wars Galaxies and a former co-worker of Jeff Freeman. He had this to say:

"I wanted to mention Jeff was also the one who did the SWG pet system, one of the most praised game systems in the original SWG. I was the senior producer of SWG, I worked for Rich Vogel. I remember trying to cut the pet system because we were running out of time to ship the game, so he came in over a weekend and didn't go home, made the whole thing, and it was spectacular. One of the best design creations I've seen in 15 years of making online games. It's just a stunning and terrible loss, and Jeff being remembered for the NGE is such an injustice, when so much of his spectacular designs are what made the original SWG so special."
Rather than dwell on his death, let us celebrate his life.
 

Rooster Cogburn

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May 24, 2008
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Mental health issues are a lot more complicated than you think.

I guess we need a mental health thread, but this is the Jeff Freeman thread. Sounds like he will be quite missed.
 

fuzzypenguin

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Sep 26, 2008
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thebobmaster post=7.72871.776362 said:
I agree with everything ElArabDeMagnifico, minus the suicidal part. Also haven't had a friend commit suicide, but I did have one make a damn good stab at it.
.... was that pun intended?
 

Devil's Due

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Sep 27, 2008
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meatloaf231 post=7.72871.776706 said:
Rather than dwell on his death, let us celebrate his life.
Agreed, he seemed like a great guy that happened to have bad luck when NGE hit.

R.I.P.
 

Royas

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Apr 25, 2008
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What a shame. I extend my sympathies to his family and friends. It's hard to understand the demons that go through the mind of a person who can take their own life. I wish him the peace in the afterlife that he obviously could not find in this life.
 
Nov 28, 2007
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Amnestic post=7.72871.776435 said:
thebobmaster post=7.72871.776362 said:
I agree with everything ElArabDeMagnifico, minus the suicidal part. Also haven't had a friend commit suicide, but I did have one make a damn good stab at it.
Okay, now hold on. How can you *fail* to commit suicide? I mean, I know it happens but I'll be damned if 90% weren't merely seeking attention.

I can get it if you were interrupted before/during your attempt, but you'd think people would plan better for the last moments of their life.
She took 40 Advil. I'd say that's a bit beyond "seeking attention".
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Well...Breen won, Freeman is dead...Sorry....


Anyway, it's sad to see him go.
 

Shirahime

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Sep 8, 2008
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Dear lord this is sad. Everybody seems to be kicking the bucket this year. It's depressing.
 

Jannetta

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Oct 1, 2008
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I apologize, but I just couldn't stop myself from posting a message. This is Jeff's ex-wife and the mother of his two teenage sons. Shame on you that say you can't sympathize. I certainly hope his 16 and 18 year old sons don't stumble across this page as I have done.

I don't believe that a person not suffering from serious depression (as he obviously was) could see things from someone's point of view that is suffering. How hopeless would one have to be to see absolutely nothing to live for and to just want everything to end?

Jeff's death is a horrible loss for all of us (his family). He leaves behind many people that love him and, even though he didn't know it, our lives will always have a void that can never be filled.

I'm sorry, but callous comments from people that have absolutely NO idea what they are talking about (along with no sympathy) make me sick.

Rest in peace, Jeff. I wish you had known how much you are loved. I'll be seeing you on the other side someday. :) Love Always, Jannetta
 

Godfather2700

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Oct 1, 2008
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This is Jeff's brother. Jannetta is so right and such a good person. It angers me very much that she had to respond to people without a clue.

Jeff will be missed and we should honor his life. There are some that hide behind an online name that can not behave in a proper social manner.

Amnestic, I pray that you never have a family member that is hurting in this way. It is a terrible loss, you can not imagine the pain.