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Renowned graphic designer Hiroshi Ono, more famously known as Mr. Dotman, has died at the age of 64. The designer passed away on Saturday, and news of his passing was published through his official Twitter account, now used for his freelance art. The announcement reported Ono had suffered from a long illness, suspected to be autoimmune hepatitis.
Ono began his career at Namco in 1979. Much of his earliest video game work is uncredited but he was known for his contributions to many iconic titles like Dig Dug, Xevious, Pac-Man, Galaga, New Rally-X, Mappy, and Pole Position. The designer stayed with the company throughout its merge with Bandai but left in 2013, launching his own freelance pixel art and design business called Mr. Dotman. Here Ono also worked on movies, animation and other special effects as well as running pixel art workshops. Other previous work included designing logos and even arcade cabinets.
Team Dotman had recently started a crowdfunding campaign to create a movie based on the designer’s life and his work, including his fight to continue working throughout his illness. The project has already been fully funded with 51 days of the campaign left to run at the time of writing. Filming was due to begin in January but the designer’s unexpected passing has left the project in limbo. The future of the project is currently under discussion and the team plans to report back to backers as soon as possible. Options include switching the film to include interviews with people who were close to Ono.
Ono had been beset by several unfortunate circumstances recently. In March 2020, thieves broke into his warehouse and stole files containing original sketches, illustrations, and other documents from his time at Namco. Coronavirus then saw the cancellation of any events at which the designer was due to appear, and then he fell ill earlier this year. Part of the funds raised by the Team Dotman project were to go towards Ono’s recovery and rehabilitation.
PlayStation LifeStyle sends their condolences to Ono’s friends and family.