When he was diagnosed with brain cancer at ten years old, Ezra Chatterton told the Make a Wish Foundation that his one wish was to visit Blizzard headquarters since the game had meant so much to his father and him. During the visit, he designed a weapon, the Merciless Gladiator's Crossbow of the Phoenix.
An NPC named Ahab Wheathoof.
And Ahab's dog named Kyle.
He also designed a quest called Kyle's Gone Missing.
After he passed away two years later, Blizzard named a Thunderbluff elder Ezra Wheathoof in his memory. The additions Ezra made remain in WoW to this day.
Michael Mamaril is a Borderlands 2 NPC known for giving out valuable loot and helping players complete the Tribute to a Vault Hunter quest. What else makes Mamaril special? He is based on a real Borderlands fan. After the real Michael Mamaril died at 22, his friend, Carlo, wrote Gearbox asking if it were possible to record Claptrap, Michael's favorite character, reading a eulogy. Moved by Carlo's gesture, Gearbox wanted to memorialize Michael in the world of Borderlands and wrote the NPC as a lasting tribute to him.
via Borderlands wiki
Roger "Oldroar" Rall founded a guild in the Dark Age of Camelot and was a well-liked player. He was looking forward to the release of Guild Wars 2, but he passed away before he saw it. His friends asked AreaNet for an in-game memorial, and AreaNet created two. First, they named one of their servers "Sanctum of Rall" after Oldroar. Second, they created a Charr historian NPC who talks about a wise and victorious warrior named Tribune Rall Oldroar.
In March 2015, reddit user Lastrogu3 shared a bittersweet post on r/gaming about how Skyrim helps him cope with losing his brother Taylor in 2013. To feel closer to Taylor, Lastrogu3 visits his Skyrim save file. He wrote, "I never move his character, save, or do anything since it wouldn't be his character anymore. He is frozen in time just like my young brother was." When other redditors responded asking for Taylor's character's location so they could leave flowers there, he contacted modders and asked them to mark the place with a shrine. The modders built the shrine and also added a NPC based on Taylor's character, a dark elf named Bear, who visits the memorial from time to time.
Lastrogu3 was grateful for the positive response, writing, "To...the gaming community, and Skyrim community we thank you all for the amazing support we've seen come from this."
While all the previous memorials on this list have been for gamers, this last one is a special tribute for a non-gamer and non-human. Lon'li Guju is a giant NPC tortoise-like creature in World of Warcraft that players encounter along the shore north-west of Zouchin Village
He is based on Lonesome George, the last surviving Pinta Island tortoise.
In 1971, Lonesome George was discovered on Pinta Island, and it was believed the rest of his species had died out (this has since been called into question). The Santa Cruz Island Tortoise Center took him in, named him Lonesome George and cared for him until he passed away at 100 years old. Blizzard thought Lonesome George's story was a powerful representation of the unfortunate fate of endangered species around the world and felt he should be immortalized. They designed their memorial NPC, Lon'li Guju, to respond to emotes like /wave and /hug, reminding us that an animal can leave as lasting and powerful an impression as a person.