Tom Clancy, the master of espionage thrillers, has passed on at 66. His legacy includes the popular movie, The Hunt for Red October and Patriot Games – both, among many of his other best-selling thrillers, were the quintessential templates for great espionage story-telling.
A list of Clancy’s books include The Hunt for Red October, Red Storm Rising, Patriot Games, The Cardinal of the Kremlin, Clear and Present Danger, The Sum of All Fears, Without Remorse, Debt of Honor, Executive Orders, SSN: Strategies for Submarine Warfare, Rainbow Six, The Bear and the Dragon, Red Rabbit, The Teeth of the Tiger, Dead or Alive, Against All Enemies, Locked On, Search and Destroy, Threat Vector, and Command Authority.
One might say that Clancy’s work was gifted to the video game industry – how would games like Halo, Rogue Spear, and Deadspace fare without the imagination and military knowledge of Tom Clancy? Not surprisingly, Clancy has successfully tried his hand in the videogame industry creating his franchises – Rainbow Six, and Splinter Cell, and Ghost Recon – techno-intelligence first-person and tactical-squad shooters that have paved the way for other leading games in the same genre. Rainbow Six was created upon the development of the Rainbow Six novels.
Clancy co-founded Red Storm Entertainment in 1996, a videogame developer that helped produce Clancy’s franchises, Rainbow Six, Splinter Cell, and Ghost Recon. All three games were well-received by fans of his books who were happy to participate in his thrillers rather than just reading them. Ubisoft bought Redstorm in 2000 and continued to use the Clancy Brand name.
The collaborators that helped make the Clancy franchise the king of squad shooters today include Grandslam Entertainment, MicroProse, Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Simon & Schuster Interactive, and Ubisoft.
There probably aren’t many game engine design reference books that refrain from making references to Tom Clancy, which says much about the author’s wide knowledge base or imagination in technology. Perhaps he is the Jules Verne of his time. Jules Verne was ahead of his time in imagining submarines and underwater apparatuses before their time. Tom Clancy, even at 66, was also ahead of his time as he had the knack for visualizing political events that unfolded and passed on to his thrillers, which marked his mastery of espionage Fans were always astounded by his prolific story-telling that never disappointed.
Clancy has collaborated with other video game developers who have gladly learned from his military-based knowledge. Ubisoft, a French game developer, had taken part in collaborating with Tom Clancy and had mentioned their sadness of his passing.
It is unfortunate that fans have lost Tom Clancy at the young age of 66, but the master of espionage has bestowed a legacy that will pass on to lucky developers who have depended on his expertise. Many will certainly miss his candor, which is refreshing in the entertainment industry today. Many who knew him have mentioned how open he was to share the information with which he was gifted. His legacy will live on in games that continue the imagination of a man who was first a man, a brilliant writer, and master of military intelligence.
Clancy’s Command Authority is his final novel and will be out in December.
Written by: Dianna Coudriet