May 27 / 2016
Our fellow hammer, Jonathan Simas, died last month of natural causes at his home in Hayward, California.
Jon grew up in Wellesley, Massachusetts and moved to California to attend college and pursue a career in Game Development. During his five-plus years working at our studio, he worked in Quality Assurance (QA) on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (MW3) and then was promoted to Designer while working on Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (AW). Jon was an incredibly talented developer and musician, and his friends here at the studio will remember him as being kind, committed, and incredibly generous – having taken part in every studio charity here at Sledgehammer Games.
During the development of MW3 in 2010, Jon was integral to the QA smoke tests that stabilized the Spec Ops Missions for the final build of the game and went on to oversee QA Tools testing. He was also committed to setting the bar high amongst his fellow QA team members on Spec Ops mission speed and accuracy. So for anyone that ever struggled with the difficulty of those missions on Veteran, you can thank Jon for the trouble you had unlocking that last achievement or trophy. Yes – he was that good.
Transitioning to designer and developing AW during his time here, Jon built a number of the systems present in AW’s Multiplayer mode. To call one out specifically, if you’ve ever scrambled to retake the B-Flag on Recovery after the dynamic map event – you can thank Jon for that. He designed the timing for the event, spawn changes, and how long the doors remain open that cut the map in half. The next time you’re playing on Recovery and the alarms sound due to the volcanic eruption and it starts raining sulfur from the sky – remember Jon.
As mentioned earlier, Jon was committed to his fellow hammers and he sought out opportunities to get involved with studio charities and events. His favorite studio charity by far was Extra-Life for Kids, an annual gaming marathon and fundraiser to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. He consistently placed in the Top 3 of the entire team for funds raised and always had a great time playing games during the 24-hour gaming marathon. We’ve joined together as a studio and as a development team over the last month to honor Jon’s memory and have been raising money for his family’s charity of choice – Tour de Cure, an American Diabetes Association sponsored event. For more information on how to donate, his family has set up a donation link here: JONATHAN SIMAS DONATION PAGE. We sincerely thank you for spreading the word and getting involved.
His memory will continue to serve as an inspiration for our team – a true model for kindness, commitment, and generosity.
- The Sledgehammer Games Development Team