Warhammer Co-Creator Bryan Ansell Dies at 68

5 months 2 weeks ago

Bryan Ansell, one of the chief architects of the Warhammer franchise alongside Richard Halliwell and Rick Priestley, has died. He was 68.

Ansell's death was announced on Instagram on December 30 with the message, "With great sadness, we announce that Bryan passed away peacefully at home this morning surrounded by his family, 30th December 2023."

It included a classic photo of Ansell sitting in front of a Warhammer army with the description, "Mighty, Dark-Winged, Avenging Lord of Chaos, Bryan Ansell, and his Mighty Avenging Chaos Army."

Warhammer founded Cidatel Miniatures in partnership with Steven Jackson's Games Workshop in 1978. His initially sold 25mm historical and fantasy miniatures and games, but it was 1983's Warhammer Fantasy Battle that would become the company's breakout hit. Ansell bought out Games Workshop alongside Tom Kirby, and the company was eventually refocused around Warhammer and Warhammer 40K. Ansell ultimately left Games Workshop to focus on Wargames Foundry.

Warhammer, of course, remains immensely popular to this day, as evidenced by the huge range of licensed video games and other media that have come out of the property. The tabletop game likewise remains very popular, fostering a passionate community dedicated to painting miniatures among other activities.


Games Workshop alumni paid tribute to Ansell, with Games Workshop co-founder Ian Livingstone writing, "Very sad news Bryan Ansell passed away. Bryan, Steve Jackson and I set up Citadel Miniatures in 1978 as part of Games Workshop. He was a craftsman and dynamic entrepreneur who drove the growth of GW to the next level. Without Bryan, Warhammer would not have launched."

Remedy designer Tuomas Pirinen, who previously worked at Games Workshop, wrote, "Bryan Ansell, the man behind the growth of Games Worshop and the patron of Warhammer and #40K as we know it today has died. Not many #Warhammer fans know it today, but without him, there would almost certainly be no Warhammer hobby at all today. Hard, man, but I'll drink to you."

Games Workshop did not provide a statement on any of its official channels.

Kat Bailey is IGN's News Director as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.

Kat Bailey