Matt Leacock

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Matt Leacock
Matt Leacock - Lucca Comics & Games 2018 02.jpg
Matt Leacock at Lucca Comics & Games 2018
OccupationGame designer
Notable workPandemic, Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert

Matt Leacock is an American board game designer, most known for cooperative games such as Pandemic, Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Leacock grew up in Long Lake, Minnesota.[3] He studied visual communication at Northern Illinois University.[4]


Matt designed Pandemic, published in 2008 by Z-Man Games.[5] Leacock had previously worked as a developer of social media[6] and as a user experience designer, primarily in community and communications products[7] for AOL and Yahoo.[8] He switched to designing board games full time in July 2014.

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, which Leacock co-designed with Rob Daviau, has been rated very highly among board gamers and by the website Board Game Geek on its board game rankings.[9][10] His latest games are Pandemic Fall of Rome and Forbidden Sky (both released in 2018).

Leacock is developing a tabletop game about climate change, Daybreak.[11]



According to Leacock, 5% of his design royalty for Pandemic products is donated directly to Medecins Sans Frontieres.[7][12]


  1. ^ "Games". Matt Leacock Games. Retrieved 2017-06-19.
  2. ^ "Matt Leacock - Game Designer - Profile". Home. Retrieved 2016-04-24.
  3. ^ Yoo, Sharon (27 March 2020). "A board game called 'Pandemic' is big right now...because of course it is". Kare11. Retrieved 2020-09-08.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Borrelli, Christopher (5 March 2020). "Q&A with the Chicago creator of Pandemic, the board game that has become all too real". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2020-09-08.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "Pandemic". BoardGameGeek. Retrieved 2020-09-08.
  6. ^ "Matt Leacock and Pandemic Legacy". BBC. Retrieved 2020-09-08.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ a b "About". Matt Leacock Games. Retrieved 2020-09-08.
  8. ^ Fitzpatrick, Alex (June 30, 2016). "This Board Game Designer Isn't Sorry About Taking a Big Risk". Time Magazine. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Duffy, Owen (January 16, 2016). "Pandemic Legacy review: Emotional highs and agonising lows". The Guardian. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  10. ^ Anderson, Nate (March 12, 2016). "Pandemic Legacy is the best board game ever—but is it "fun?"". Ars Technica. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  11. ^ Hall, Charlie (April 13, 2021). "Pandemic creator's new board game, Daybreak, is about climate change". Polygon. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  12. ^ Genovese, Peter (2020-04-03). "Pandemic —the board game — foreshadows current crisis". nj. Retrieved 2020-09-08.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)