Julian LeFay (also known as Julian Jensen) is a Danish programmer and game designer. His best known work was playing an instrumental role in the early days of Bethesda Softworks and as well as in creating The Elder Scrolls franchise, earning him the affectionate nickname "the Father of the Elder Scrolls".
Born as Benni Jensen on October 30, 1965, LeFay began programming in Europe in the early 1980's and became known as one of the continent's best underground programmers on the Amstrad CPC and the Amiga during Commodore's heyday. His programs have won numerous industry awards in every category. His programming skills lead him to being frequently courted by American tech companies, prompting his emigration to the USA in the late 1980's.
In 1988, LeFay became one of the original four employees of Bethesda Softworks, and worked on many of their early titles, most notably the various licensed Terminator games. As the company grew, LeFay, along with his co-workers and fellow Tabletop RPG players, Ted Peterson and Vijay Lakshman, pitched the idea that the company should create an High Fantasy franchise of their own to develop RPG games in. The team quickly settled on basing this new universe on their Dungeons & Dragons homebrew settling called "Tamriel", which LeFay suggested to rename "The Elder Scrolls", and he went on to spearhead the development of The Elder Scrolls: Arena as lead programmer on the project. Area was soon followed by its sequel The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, which LeFay would name his most ambitious project, where he once again headed the project as both programmer and designer. LeFay also played an instrumental role on the spin-off title, An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire, which would prove his last substantial work on The Elder Scrolls series. When time of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind rolled around, LeFay was not picked for the initial development team; this, combined with general concerns about the changes in Bethesda's corporate culture in the latter half of the The '90s, prompted his resignation from the company in 1998, citing Creative Differences. At the personal request of Christopher Weaver, the founder of Bethesda and his personal friend, he still contributed to the project in some capacity, though it is unknown to what exactly as his only credit on Morrowind is listed under the Special Thanks.
LeFay (who mostly goes by Jensen these days) still works as a programmer to this day, and has sporadically done work on various game titles. In September 2019, however, it was announced that he had joined forces with Peterson and Lakshman once again under the banner OnceLost Games, and that he and his old teammates are working on plans to put together a Spiritual Successor to Daggerfall.
Oh, and he was also in an Electro-Pop band in The '80s called Russia Heat. They charted in Denmark with their single, "Tell Me Your Name". This side interest in electronic music extended to his early work on games, where he just as about often appeared as a soundtrack composer as a programmer.
- Sword of Sodan (1989, as Musician)
- Dragon's Lair II — Escape from Singe's Castle, IMB version (1989, as Programmer)
- The Elder Scrolls: Arena (1994, as Lead Programmer)
- The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall (1996, as Project Lead, programmer, and designer)
- An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire (1997, Lead Programming, designer, and dialogue writer)
- Skull Girls (2012, Technical Director)