The Southeast Asian video game industry suffered a major loss today following the death of Mohammad Fahmi, the creator of Toge Productions’ Coffee Talk and the upcoming Afterlove EP. He was 32.
innalillahi wa innailaihi rajiun telah meninggal adik saya fahmi, mohon dibukakan pintu maaf yang sebesar2nya jika ada urusan atau hutang yang belum diselesaikan bisa menghubungi kami pihak keluarga— fahmiツ | check pinned & wishlist our upcoming game (@fahmitsu) March 27, 2022
News of his untimely passing was revealed on the game designer’s Twitter account in a tweet written by his sister in Bahasa Indonesia.
Fans and various members of the Southeast Asian gaming industry paid their respects and expressed their condolences on social media.
Born on January 29 1990, Fahmi began his gaming career at Gameloft as a programmer and designer. He soon made a career shift as a writer and was later appointed Editor-in-Chief of the Games department of Tech In Asia Indonesia before joining Toge Productions.
During his tenure as the Marketing And Public Relations Manager at Toge Productions, he conceived the idea to develop Coffee Talk, which has since become one of the company’s most successful games.
Soon after, Fahmi opened his own gaming studio, Pikselnesia, which went on to release What Comes After and is set to release Afterlove EP. These games continued to showcase Fahmi’s talent in crafting intimate stories with unconventional concepts and characters.
Fahmi’s cause of death could not be confirmed as at the time of writing, but according to Toge Productions, he had been suffering from asthma.
IGN Southeast Asia reached out to the game developers who have known Fahmi throughout his career. They also shared their fondest memories of rising star in the Southeast Asian video game industry.
“Fahmi was a hugely talented developer with a sharp writing style and a gift for channeling the mundanity of daily life into something magical in his games. He was also a sweet and friendly person who was loved and respected by the indie game community.
"His untimely passing deprives us all of the unique and special games he would have undoubtedly gone on to create. Rest in peace, my friend,” said IGN Japan Chief Editor Daniel Robson.
Our industry has lost one of the brightest stars. @fahmitsu was someone I was always inspired by. We met at the first Level Up KL where we talked about how we could grow the region together. No words can explain how great this kind and amazing soul. I will truly miss you. pic.twitter.com/eW3YxK3Fho— Hasnul Hadi 💙 (@mistahasnul) March 28, 2022
Meanwhile, PlayStation Studios Malaysia Head Hasnul Hadi Samsudin said Fahmi was one of the brightest stars from Indonesia and the region.
“Our industry has lost one of the brightest stars. Fahmi was someone I was always inspired by. We met at the first Level Up KL where we talked about how we could grow the region together. No words can explain how great this kind and amazing soul. I will truly miss you.
“He (Fahmi) was a journalist then and we talked about how we could push our stakeholders to recognise the industry. I was glad to see that region had grown since then. Even more so seeing him doing what he loved - making games and writing great stories.
“I remember I spent a lot of time sitting and playing the Coffee Talk demo at Level Up. He won an award there for it. We met at various game events - Malaysia and Indonesia sometimes side by side. GamesCom, TGS and in Indonesia. May you be remembered always, Fahmi. May you inspire others with your journey. Rest well my friend,” said Hasnul.
Neon Doctrine Co-Founder Iain Garner described Fahmi as a “beautiful man with a beautiful soul”.
“Fahmi was with me the first time I attended an international gaming event, we talked about games and life, he drove me around Jakarta, and introduced me to untold numbers of game developers.”
Mojiken Studios Illustrator and Creator of ‘When the Past Was Around’, Brigitta Rena expressed her gratitude to Fahmi for giving her a start in the video game industry.
“Fahmi was the first person who approached me for a gamedev interview when we just started Mojiken.
"Somehow, he believed in my art more than I believed in myself and he kept finding the right words to compile the absurdity of it all.
I've drawn some artwork for him and it surprised me that I still want to draw more of his crazy stories while chatting on how his days are going like we used to. I bet he will find some cool game devs, writers and illustrators up there and fanboying hard while keeps on writing.
“Fahmi would always find me hiding during events, and we would talk a lot about everything. We promised to eat out once the pandemic settled," she said.
Head Of Business Development of Robot Teddy, Gwen Foster said: "He’s been a really great friend, a good person, and a wonderful developer. I’m happy he was able to do the things he wanted to do, but I know he would have built more heartfelt stories.”
“From Toge Productions, we'd like to say that having Fahmi be part of our team was a true honour and blessing. Being able to collaborate in creating Coffee Talk and making the game come to life for everyone to enjoy has been nothing short of a true wonder. We miss him already and we hope that he'll continue to watch over us as we keep his legacy going as best we can,” said Toge Productions PR and Comms representative Johana Tanoto.
Speaking of my own experiences with Fahmi, he has always been an inspiration for my work as well. Knowing that someone could make the jump from games journalist to game developer was something that you don’t hear much about in the Southeast Asian video game industry.
I will truly miss the times that I got to message him on Discord, retweeting the same memes together on Twitter, and most of all, interviewing him whenever he had a new project out. He is a true maverick and auteur in every sense of the word, and I will remember him always.