Who was Roger Kean? Co-founder of crash magazine dies, cause of death Revealed


Who was Roger Kean? Co-founder of crash magazine dies, cause of death Revealed

Roger Kean, the co-founder of Zzap! 64 and CRASH magazines have died. Let’s see Who was Roger Kean, what happened to him, and Roger Kean cause of death in detail below.

What happened to Roger Kean?

Roger Kean, the co-founder of the video game magazine Zzap! 64 and CRASH during the 1980s, passed away due to a neurological disease. 

One of the official statements reveals Roger Kean’s cause of death

Today another games magazine legend passed away. Roger Kean sadly lost his battle with MND. Even knowing his time was becoming shorter it was horrible to hear.

He was one of the first games mag people I met in person at Revival 2014 and happy to discuss his work on Crash, Zzap, SEGA Force, and more. In 2018 (again at Revival) he and his long-term partner Oli introduced me to Nick Roberts as I explained my aim to interview as many games journos as possible.

In 2019 I managed to interview Roger (and a few background words from Oli) about his work on Zzap for my Top 10 Games Mag podcast episodes.

I hate how another legend has gone who influenced so many of my friends. But he is reunited with Oli R.I.P. Roger

Who was Roger Kean?

Oliver Frey, Franco Frey, and Roger Kean created Newsfield Publications in the 1980s. Newsfield transformed the UK video games journalistic environment through CRASH (ZX Spectrum) and Zzap!64 (Commodore 64), helping to launch the careers of many others, including Julian Rignall, Gary Penn, Gary Liddon, and Paul Glancey.

After Newsfield filed for bankruptcy in 1991, Kean founded Europress, which would go on to publish publications like Sega Force and N-Force. Later, Kean worked for Prima Publishing’s UK division, and most recently, he assisted Fusion Retro Books with the revivals of CRASH and Zzap! 64. Following the demise of his lover Oli Frey in August of last year, Kean passed away.

Speaking of his publications, Roger Kean said some time ago that without Oliver it would not have been possible to carry out such a project, which tried to emphasize the enthusiasm and emotions of this world rather than cold technology.

Precisely for this reason Crash and the other magazines used to boast particularly colorful and amusing covers, often depicting faces looking at the reader, designed to stand out among the many other magazines available on newsstands.

Newsfield Publications closed its doors in 1991, but Kean did not think of giving up his passion and so he founded Europress, publisher of magazines such as SEGA Force and N-Force, and then also dedicated himself to the revival of the original Zzap! 64 and CRASH for Fusion Retro Books.

Roger Kean cause of death

Roger Kean, the co-founder in the 80s of the video game magazine Zzap! 64 and CRASH, dedicated respectively to the Commodore 64 and the ZX Spectrum, died a few hours ago due to complications from a neurological disease (MND). Roger lost his battle with MND this morning at 3 am. As reported by Fusion R Gamer, his cause of death was attributed to motor neuron disease.

Roger Kean’s Friend: Statement about his illness


It was only 3 1/2 months ago that we cremated Oliver Frey, Rog’s partner in crime. Last night, Rog left this world to be with Oli at around 3 am.

He had to battle with MND for 3 years or so – his diagnosis was originally 6 months. What I learned over the 16 or so years I knew Roger, he was a fighter. I lived through the phases of MND with Rog, and we talked each time we met about what part of his body was now not working correctly. We were always frank with each other and could talk about everything and anything.

We did some great things together, first with “Ocean – the history”, a book many said would never be written. Rog and I spent a whole day in Altrincham at Jon Woods’ mansion with both Jon and David Ward. Jon smoked, David spoke and Rog and I listened, asking the odd question here and there just to keep the story of Ocean unfolding.

We worked on other books, and then brought the CRASH and ZZAP! magazines back in the form of Annals. Roger formatted the 2021 ZZAP! Annual as his final major contribution to our partnership, though he did write a few bits for Fusion and the CRASH and ZZAP! magazines. His health was getting worse, and the use of his hands with a keyboard became too much of a challenge.

We spent many an afternoon in the Charlton Arms in Ludlow – 3-course meals, wine, and intricate conversation, sometimes with just me, on other occasions with my wife and 3 kids, and other times with friends. The picture below is with Matt Birch who brought along a lovely cake to celebrate 100 issues of CRASH.


Tributes flooded social media for Roger Kean 



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