29 May Mourning Benoît Sokal
Paris – May 29th 2021 – It’s with extreme sadness and heavy hearts that the Microids team must announce the death of Benoît Sokal, who passed on the 28th of May 2021 after battling a long-term illness.
Known first and foremost as a storyteller and talented comic book artist, Benoît contributed hugely to advancing the video game medium internationally, through a varied and prolific output over the past 25 years.
A true visionary and extremely talented artist, Benoît left an indelible mark on Microids’ history. He worked hard to share his vision with the world, starting in 1999 with his first title, Amerzone. His distinctive style made the various universes he built unforgettable for thousands of players worldwide, even earning him the position of Art Director at Microids for a time.
Benoît is also known and revered for creating the cult Syberia games. This was a series in which he brilliantly transposed his love for all things Eastern European, all encompassed in unique and singular adventures cherished and loved by a loyal army of fans.
The entire Microids team share the grief of his family and friends.
About Benoît Sokal
Benoît Sokal began drawing for À Suivre magazine in 1978. At this time, he created the Inspector Canardo series, featuring a depressed anthropomorphic duck detective with a penchant for cigarettes, alcohol and femmes fatales. In 1996, he started the video game project Amerzone, published by Microids. Benoît Sokal is one of the first graphic novel artists to design, implement and supervise the entire production of a video game. He then went on to become Microids’ Art Director, publishing his second game, Syberia, in 2002. He was recognized as “Person of the Year” at the 2002 video games Phenix Awards; Syberia was crowned “Best adventure game of the year” in 2002 in the USA. In April 2004, the release of Syberia 2 met the same success as the first episode of the saga and was greeted with enthusiasm by fans all over the world. With Syberia 3, Benoît Sokal chose to stick with the old-fashioned way of drawing with pencils and watercolors, rather than using digital tools, giving his universe and characters a very distinctive look. A multi-talented artist, he also crafted the beloved game story and the characters’ dialogue. During these last months, Benoît Sokal was working with the teams at Microids and Koalabs on the upcoming game Syberia: The World Before.
Despite his prolific career in video games, Benoît Sokal never let go of his original passion, and released the graphic novel Kraa in 2010. He also developed the Aquarica universe for several years with his friend François Schuiten. Together, they released the first graphic novel based on Aquarica in 2017.