A team of industry veterans has set up an independent studio called Smoking Gun Interactive, with the stated aim of creating games that "push the envelope and redefine the art of gaming."
The three cofounders of the new studio are all previously Relic Entertainment employees--John Johnson, Angie Radwan-Pytlewski, and Drew Dunlop. Johnson will take the role of CEO and creative director of the company.
Other personnel who will be working with the Smoking Gun team include Crispin Hands (Company of Heroes audio director) and Duane Pye (the game's script writer). Smoking Gun's Web site states that the team worked together for a total of seven years, including on the historical real-time strategy Company of Heroes title, and that "Over time, they realised that they shared a vision of what games could be; with Smoking Gun they have come together to build that dream."
Company of Heroes was a PC title released in September 2006, and a second game, Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts, is due for release in autumn 2007. The original game was set during World War II and gave players the chance to command military units during the Battle of Normandy.
Smoking Gun Interactive launched after a teaser campaign at Exoriare.com, which involved teams working together to solve a series of puzzles. No titles have yet been announced as being in the works.