Memorials/Armin Gessert

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IGDA Memorials
Armin Gessert
b. 1963


d. November 8th, 2009

Mobygames page
Wikipedia page

Armin Gessert, creator of The Great Giana Sisters (Commodore 64, 1987), passed away on November 8th from a heart attack.



With a career spanning 25 years in the industry, Gessert began designing games for Rainbow Arts, starting with Street Gang for Rainbow Arts (Commodore 64, 1984). He later created The Great Giana Sisters (1987), which became an collectors item. Shortly after, he began freelance work for Gütersloh to Kehl until joining Blue Byte in 1988, where he produced the highly successful Great Court (1989). In 1994, he went independent after founding Spellbound Studios with his friend Jean-Marc Haessig. Spellbound produced many strategy games such as Robin Hood - Legend of Sherwood (2002) and Airline Tycoon (1998), along with other action titles such as Extreme Assault (1997).

Gessert's most famous title is The Great Giana Sisters, which he produced with Chris Huelsbeck and Manfred Trenz for the Commodore 64. The Great Giana Sisters was an collectors item for the C64 and developed a strong following among fans. However, the game's similarities with Super Mario Bros. caused Nintendo to force the game to be pulled from store shelves, but illegal copying quickly vaulted the title to cult status. Gessert had been working on a Nintendo DS version of the game when he passed away.

Gessert and The Great Giana Sisters had a strong following, and his passing was marked by many websites, both fan-based and industry.

~ Written by Devin Monnens


Video games

  • Giana Sisters DS (2009), dtp entertainment AG
  • Helldorado (2007), dtp entertainment AG
  • Desperados 2: Cooper's Revenge (2006), Atari Europe S.A.S.U.
  • Airline Tycoon Deluxe (2003), Spellbound Entertainment AG
  • Chicago 1930 (2003), Wanadoo Edition
  • Cultures: Die Saga (2003), Funatics Software GmbH
  • Smoking Guns: Shooting Gallery! (2003), Spellbound Studios
  • Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood (2002), Strategy First, Inc., Wanadoo Edition
  • Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive (2001), Infogrames Europe SA
  • Cultures (2000), THQ Inc.
  • Airline Tycoon (1999), Infogrames Multimedia SA
  • Airline Tycoon (1998), Infogrames Europe SA
  • Perry Rhodan: Operation Eastside (1998), Fantasy Productions Verlags- und Medienvertriebsgesellschaft mbH
  • Extreme Assault (1997), Blue Byte Software GmbH
  • Dr. Drago's Madcap Chase (1995), Blue Byte Software GmbH
  • Historyline: 1914-1918 (1992), Blue Byte Studio GmbH
  • Great Courts 2 (1991), Blue Byte Software GmbH
  • Tom and the Ghost (1990), Ubi Soft Entertainment Software
  • The Great Giana Sisters (1987), Rainbow Arts Software GmbH
  • In 80 Days Around the World (1987), Rainbow Arts Software GmbH



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