One of the key engineers behind the God of War Leviathan ax has died

George Mawle, a former Sony Santa Monica gameplay engineer who has been described as one of the “fathers” of God of Wars’ beloved Leviathan Ax, sadly passed away on September 2nd.

Mawle worked at Sony Santa Monica as a programmer while the studio was working on the exclusive 2018 PS4 God of War. His work on the game’s signature Leviathan Ax and a host of other gameplay features will be remembered by fans and staff alike. Sony Santa Monica Creative Director Cory Barlog described Mawle as “an incredibly fun, intelligent, and warm person. He was one of the fathers of the Leviathan feeling. Without his curiosity and intellect, those moments of pure joy remembering the ax would never have existed. “

Studio Lead Combat Designer Mihir Sheth worked with Mawle while at Sony Santa Monica and was just one of many to pay tribute to the late engineer on social media.

On a Twitter thread, Sheth stated, “If you’ve ever had fun throwing the Leviathan ax and remembering or spinning the chains of the Blades of Chaos in GOW’18, please take a moment, to see that this was possible for the most part. ” to the engineering and energy of George Mawle. “


Like many others in his 20+ year game development career, I sat next to or near George every day for over five years, worked through thick and thin with him, and was hit hard by the shocking news.

– Mihir Sheth (@youtheremehere) September 4, 2021

Sheth continued elsewhere in the thread: “At SMS, he worked on Kratos’ weapons, navigation, RPG systems, a variety of combat behaviors, improvements to the scripting system to empower designers, and SO much more. He was a veteran on the team who played a huge role in closing the game and fixing bugs. “

While God of War was the last published title Mawle shaped, his career spanned a number of other games, including Prototype 2, Crash of the Titans, and Scarface: The World is Yours. According to Sheth, the programmer also enjoyed recording a number of side projects outside of the studio. The lead combat designer said Mawle would proudly show others his own homemade cookbooks, joinery projects and homemade movies.

I had the opportunity to visit him and his wife Lisa at his Acton home (called “The Snugglebug Ranch”) and experience the legendary home theater he had built. He was very proud of it and pictures don’t do it justice.

– Mihir Sheth (@youtheremehere) September 4, 2021

In addition to Sheth, a number of other former employees and fans of Mawle’s social media work also used social media to pay tribute to the late programmer. You can read a collection of some of their comments about him below:

If you loved the gameplay of God of War, George was a huge part of it: he was the man who made the ax possible and controlled almost all of the programming from start to finish.

But his career lasted for decades. He was happy to tell you about all possible projects and in loving detail.

– Sam Handrick (@MDSVeritas) September 4, 2021

George was such an incredibly funny, smart, and warmhearted person. He was one of the fathers of the Leviathan feeling. Without his curiosity and intellect, those moments of pure joy remembering the ax would never have happened.

It absolutely breaks my heart that he’s gone.

RIP brother💔

– cory barlog 🖖 (@corybarlog) September 6, 2021

The only good thing about leaving SMS a few months ago was that it gave us a chance to say goodbye and say how much we would miss being together.

I’m going to work more like Furious George and try to influence younger developers the way he influenced me. RIP, bruv.

– Anthony DiMento (@DiMentoXP) September 4, 2021

All of us at IGN offer our condolences to Mawle’s family and friends.

Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN.

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