Creator of the hugely popular Catan board game, Klaus Teuber, has died at 70 after a brief battle with illness, according to a family statement.
Teuber, born in June 1952 in the German town of Rai-Breitenbach, introduced the beloved board game in 1995, originally calling it The Settlers of Catan. The game has since sold millions of copies in more than 40 languages worldwide.
“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that the Teuber family announces their beloved husband and father Klaus Teuber passed away at the age of 70 on April 1, 2023 after a short and serious illness,” said the statement posted on the German-language Catan website. The family requested privacy.
The Catan studio team said in a statement that Klaus’ contributions to the board gaming industry are “immeasurable.”
First published in Germany in 1995 as Die Siedler von Catan, the game was released in the United States in 1996.
Since its introduction, the multi-player game has inspired dozens of spinoffs and new editions of products related to the game — which was based on a set of hexagonal tiles where players compete to establish settlements on a fictional island.
“We will remember him most as a kind and selfless human being, an inspirational leader, and most importantly, as a friend,” the statement said.
In a 2014 New Yorker magazine interview, Teuber, who practiced dentistry before Catan’s huge success, said that he “developed games to escape. This was my own world I created.”
In 1998, Teuber left his dental lab when he “felt like Catan could feed me and my family,” he said. “I never expected it would be so successful.”
Contributing: Associated Press
Camille Fine is a trending visual producer on USA TODAY’s NOW team.
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