Michael Berlyn

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Michael Berlyn
Born1949 (1949)
DiedMarch 2023 (aged 73)
Nationality (legal)American
OccupationGame designer
Employer(s)Infocom, Accolade
Known forCo-founder of Bend Studio
Notable workSuspended
Bubsy 3D
SpouseMuffy Berlyn

Michael Berlyn (1949 – March 2023) was an American video game designer and writer. He was best known as an implementer at Infocom, part of the text adventure game design team.[1] He is also known as the designer behind Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind (1993) and Bubsy 3D (1996).[2][3]

Brainwave Creations was a small game programming company started by Michael Berlyn. The company was founded in the mid-1980s, and is probably best known for co-creating Tass Times in Tonetown along with Interplay's Rebecca Heineman.

Berlyn joined Marc Blank in founding the game company Eidetic, which later became Bend Studio. In the midst of working on the company's second game, Syphon Filter, Berlyn left the video game industry. He later explained, "I did not like what the game business had become, the people who were driving it, or the nature of the product. I left before it was done and said, 'Do not put my name on the product.' I walked away from my own company. When you tell me you want to put a monk or a nun in my game and have them standing there holding guns so I can justify having the players shoot them, I think that crosses the boundaries of good taste. It doesn't offend ME, but it's got to be in bad taste, and you have to know that."[4]

In 1998, Berlyn started Cascade Mountain Publishing, whose goals were to publish ebooks and interactive fiction. Cascade Mountain Publishing went out of business in 2000.[5] After this business venture collapsed, Berlyn returned to the video game industry, with a focus on casual games.[4]

Berlyn created a "light-jazz" band called Hot Mustard, made up entirely of his own music and performances.[6]

Berlyn was diagnosed with cancer in September 2014, after which he underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatment until at least mid-2015.[7] He died in March 2023, at the age of 73.[8]




  • The Integrated Man, Bantam Books, (1980) ISBN 978-0-5531-3999-0
  • Crystal Phoenix, Bantam Books, (1980) ISBN 978-0-5531-3468-1
  • Blight as Mark Sonders, Ace Books, (1981) ISBN 978-0-4410-6709-1
  • Eternal Enemy, Wm. Morrow, (1990) ISBN 978-0-8779-5963-2


  1. ^ Horowitz, Ken (August 1, 2006). "Interview: Mike Berlyn". Sega - 16. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
  2. ^ Solberg, Dan (2019-08-30). "Bubsy Cannot Be Stopped". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Archived from the original on September 14, 2019. Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  3. ^ "Bubsy 3D". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 83. Sendai Publishing. June 1996. p. 49.
  4. ^ a b c Cifaldi, Frank (3 October 2005). "Playing Catch-Up: Bubsy's Michael Berlyn". Gamasutra. UBM TechWeb. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Michael Berlyn". Infocom. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
  6. ^ Bowen, Christopher (February 4, 2011). "Diehard GameFAN Hall of Shame: Bubsy 3D". Diehard GameFAN. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
  7. ^ Maher, Jimmy (April 24, 2015). "Mike Berlyn Could Use a Little Helping Hand". filfre.net. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  8. ^ Obituary: Bubsy creator Mike Berlyn passed away at age 73
  9. ^ "Michael Berlyn". Moby Games. Retrieved February 8, 2015.

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