Bethesda Softworks senior designer Ferret Baudoin, who worked as lead designer on Fallout 76, has died. Tribute page on Facebook (opens in a new tab) said he “passed suddenly” on October 15, “surrounded by his family and friends.”
News of Baudoin’s death was shared on Twitter by former Fallout 76 project manager Jeff Gardiner, who described Baudoin as an “eternal optimist and dear friend”, and a deeply dedicated RPG fan.
We would text about any and all RPGs we played. He’s the only person I know who plays more of them than @Dezinuh and I. He completed four runs of the most recent #Pathfinder @OwlcatGames RPG alone.October 17, 2022
“We have had lunch several times since I left Bethesda. He will be greatly missed,” Gardiner tweeted. “We would text about any and all RPGs we played. He’s the only person I know who plays more than Dezinuh. [Bethesda Game Studios design director Emil Pagliarulo] and I. He completed four runs of the most recent Pathfinder OwlcatGames RPG alone.”
Pagliarulo paid tribute to Baudoin in his own Twitter thread, saying he was “unstoppably creative, always inspired, and he worked hard because to Ferret, it wasn’t work. He LOVED making games.”
(4/4) But what I will miss the most is a man so full of love for his family, his colleagues and his craft that he constantly reminded me what the meaning of all this is – to be happy, to do. happy each other, and never forget how wonderful life really is.October 18, 2022
Baudoin’s real name was Eric, but he is listed in game credits (opens in a new tab) like Ferret, and comments on Reddit (opens in a new tab) a thread announcing his death states that it was his preferred name. One redditor, who claimed to have met Baudoin in 1989 when he was a college freshman, said he used the nickname even then, and was very secretive about its origins.
“I roomed next to him for three years and he was best man at my wedding, and I don’t know where that came from,” they wrote. “I do know he had fun with it when he visited Ireland. There was a fad in the country at the time that involved tucking a ferret down your trousers, and he used it as a string!”
Reddit (opens in a new tab) a post published earlier today and shared by Kenneth Vigue, who worked with Baudoin on Fallout For Hope (opens in a new tab) charities, revealed that his death resulted from complications arising from cancer surgery. Some fans are leaving tributes to Baudoin in Fallout 76, and a personal tribute will be paid during a Fallout 25th anniversary cosplay gathering (opens in a new tab) on Oct. 22, which will include charity walks in four cities to raise money for St. John’s Children’s Research Hospital. The family also accepts donations to support a college fund for Baudoin’s children, and invites donations in his name to the American Cancer Society.
#Fallout76 players are leaving memorial messages for the late, great Ferret Baudoin and if that’s not the healthiest thing to do. If you do, share and tag #ThanksFerret I shared things with his family. I don’t think they realized how effective his work was. pic.twitter.com/uDcOQ1m7pWOctober 18, 2022
Baudoin was with Bethesda Softworks for 10 years, where he worked as a quest designer and writer on Fallout 4 before becoming post-launch lead designer on Fallout 76 and the Wastelanders expansion. According to his LinkedIn (opens in a new tab) page, he was also a senior designer on the upcoming Starfield.
Before joining Bethesda, he spent six years as lead designer at BioWare, working on Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age 2, and multiple DLCs, and from 2003 to 2006 he was lead designer on Neverwinter Nights 2 at Obsidian Entertainment. He also had a brief stint at Black Isle Studios, where he worked as a designer on two famously failed RPGs: The original Baldur’s Gate 3, codenamed Jefferson, and the original Fallout 3, codenamed Van Buren.
Bethesda paid tribute to Baudoin on Twitter, calling him “a kind man we all miss and will never forget.”