Games industry mourns Frank Herman

All corners of the games industry are uniting this week in fond memory of Frank Herman, who died on Monday.

MCV is reporting his passing today, following the funeral yesterday, to ensure that the many friends of Frank in the UK, Europe, US and Japan get an opportunity to pay tribute to one of the genuine legends of the business.

Frank Herman founded Mastertronic with Martin Alper and Alan Sharam in 1983.

It was the first budget games publisher in Europe and grew into a highly successful group – culminating in a deal to distribute the Sega Master System.

Sega flourished under Herman’s leadership, to such a level that Nintendo found it difficult to find a foothold in the UK for many years.

Richard Branson’s Virgin empire became an investor in Mastertronic in 1988 and eventually took over the group.

In 1991, Sega Europe was founded, with Frank Herman working as deputy managing director alongside Nick Alexander.

Herman eventually left in 1995 to set up GT Interactive in Europe – the American publisher quickly becoming a top four outfit by market share.

Gradually, a lower profile was taken in the games industry. But he had a spell as chairman of MCV publisher Intent Media during its management buy-out from German group Computec in 2002 and later joined ‘new Mastertonic’ as chairman – the company having been formed from the merger of UK publishers Sold Out and Just Flight, plus fulfillment house The Producers.

Frank Herman had many other private business interests throughout his 25 years in the games industry.

His funeral was held in Hertfordshire yesterday, being well attended by industry notables as well as many friends and family.

MCV will publish a full tribute next week, with all former colleagues and business associates invited to send in eulogies for publication.

Please send direct to or simply offer your kind thoughts in the comments box below.

The UK games industry has much to thank Frank Herman for.

He will be sadly missed.

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