Death of Tencent programmer shocks gaming industry

Death of Tencent programmer shocks gaming industry

The sudden death of a young programmer at Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings, regarded as a ‘genius’ and one of the country’s best hopes in making world-class video games, has sent shock waves across the industry.

Shenzhen-based Tencent confirmed on Wednesday (Dec 15) the passing of 30-year-old Mao Xingyun, a lead engine programmer at Tencent Games, after news of his death spread across the internet.

“It is with deepest sorrow that we confirm that Mao Xingyun, a member of TiMi F1 Studio, died unexpectedly on the morning of Dec 11, 2021,” Tencent said in a statement, without specifying the cause of Mao’s death. “Xingyun had been an integral part of the team with his strong expertise and dedication to work. He will be immensely missed.”

An internal letter addressed to Mao’s colleagues said the programmer was hospitalized in August and September for unspecified health issues.

“Xingyun showed outstanding professional skills and performance during his time with the team for more than five years and had always had high expectations for himself,” Winco Qin, general manager of TiMi F1 Studio reportedly wrote. Tencent declined to comment on the letter.

Mao was one of the most well-known young talents in China’s gaming industry, representing a new generation of tech experts aspiring to turn the country into a video gaming powerhouse. His death became a trending topic on China’s social media, topping the hot search list on microblogging platform Weibo.

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