Lewis "Kelly" Flock, Sony Online Entertainment's former president, has passed away. According to Venture Beat, Flock had been ill prior to his passing. While Flock might not be a household name among gamers, it's clear that the executive had a massive impact on the industry as a whole. Following Flock's passing, a number of people in the gaming industry shared their condolences on social media, including David Jaffe, the creator of PlayStation franchises such as God of War and Twisted Metal. According to Jaffe, Flock played an instrumental role in bringing those franchises to life. In a post on Twitter, Jaffe shared his thoughts on Flock's passing.
"He's the exec who pulled the trigger creating Sony Santa Monica. He's the guy who greenlit Twisted Metal 2 all the up through Twisted Metal: Black (along with Jet Moto). He gave so many of us at PlayStation chance after chance to get it right and learn."
"There's no TM:BLACK or GOD OF WAR w/out Kelly Flock," Jaffe continued in a follow-up Tweet.
Prior to working at Sony, Flock worked at a number of other gaming companies, including EA, LucasArts, and THQ. Those that knew Flock spoke highly about his impact on the industry, and his strong sense of humor. In addition to Jaffe, Flock's fellow PlayStation alumnus Shawn Layden also took to Twitter to share his memories of Kelly, describing the former PlayStation president as "fearless."
Kelly was hilarious, curmudgeonly, and fearless. The sine qua non in the creation of PlayStation Studios in America. He also told me to fek off more than a few times and I respected him all the more. RIP Kelly. Ride that road to the sky. 🏍️🥃🙏🏾 https://t.co/lS4LFTmHhZ— shawn layden (@ShawnLayden) January 6, 2021
While Flock appeared in the credits for numerous titles during his time in the video game industry, Jaffe and Layden's comments underscore the fact that so many of the people that play a pivotal role in gaming often fly under the radar. Both God of War and Twisted Metal have meant a lot to gamers around the world, and those franchises might not exist in their current forms if not for Flock's influence. Clearly, his impact on the industry, and on PlayStation, will continue long after his passing.