Catan creator Klaus Teuber passes away, age 70

The creator of Catan, one of the most popular and essential board games of our time, has sadly passed away after sudden illness.
Settlers of Catan creator Klaus Teuber

The creator of one of the most popular board games today, Catan (formerly known as Settlers of Catan), has passed away. Klaus Teuber was the designer of the settlement expansion game, as well as several of its expansion packs, and video game versions.

In a message posted on the official Catan website, the company announced that Teuber passed away on 1 April 2023 at age 70, after a ‘brief and severe illness’.

Teuber was a former dental technician who initially only dabbled in game design, releasing Barbarossa in 1988, which won the Spiel des Jahres award – a German award that recognises the best new board or card game of the year. He would release two more Spiel des Jahres award-winning games – Adel Verpflichtet (1990), and Drunter und Drüber (1991) – before finally releasing Settlers of Catan.

Teuber would quit his day job to become a full-time game designer in 1998.

Catan would go on to be one of the first European board games to meaningfully gain a foothold in the international board game market, and is now considered an essential board game. It continues to see expansions, spin-off games, and digital versions, and is played competitively around the world.

On Twitter, the Catan company posted a statement that read: ‘While Klaus’ contributions to the board gaming industry are immeasurable, we will remember him most as a kind and selfless human being, an inspirational leader, and most importantly, as friend.’

‘His legacy will continue to inspire and shape the gaming community for years to come.’

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Edmond was the founding managing editor of GamesHub. He was also previously at GameSpot for 13 years, where he was the Australian Editor and an award-winning video producer. You can follow him @EdmondTran