Company of Heroes team pulls trigger on Smoking Gun

New Vancouver, Canada, studio formed by ex-Relic Entertainment staff promises to "redefine the art of gaming."

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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.

Discussion

68 comments
digitalheadbutt
digitalheadbutt

With the exception of Impossible creatures, which I never got a chance to try, I have loved all of Relics games. There hasn't been anything to replace The HomeWorld series in my mind. Maybe Sins of a Solar empire will do it. Unlike Markner, I think Dawn of War is a great game and Company of Heroes takes the game style makes it more tactical and less rushy. I played Star Craft for 5 years and don't feel the need to revisit, Zerg Rush designed games anymore. Well not untill SC2 anyway.

Markner
Markner

Company of heroes was great but dawn of war sucks!! So lets hope this company will make some good games and not games like dawn of war!

argulkurzak
argulkurzak

If they will make games like CoH, then huzzah!

pidow
pidow

I am hoping they product more games for FPS vs attention on multi-player.

dukerav
dukerav

Well Company of Heroes was a great start, so it is with that said that I wish Smoking Gun the best of luck in future endeavors.

Pastehunter
Pastehunter

Wow , if every developer would make what they had promissed :lol:

red_x2004
red_x2004

Company Of Heroes is truly a great RTS , the only bad thing i can say about the game is that it only had two different factions,& from whats said above that they are going to "redefine the art of gaming", that is going to be apparent in THQ's next installment : Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts.

Fanboy4Hire
Fanboy4Hire

Sounds great, but I, like everyone else, will believe it when I see it. Redefining gaming should be a goal of every game studio IMHO. Easier said than done I guess. Anyhow, I just can't wait to play another WWII game! I haven't played one in...hours.

JFreezy02
JFreezy02

I hope it works out for Smoking Gun. Hey this could be good for us! More competition between good companies means better games for us! I wouldn't mind seeing another Homeworld type game. Homeworld was awesome!

Luieburger
Luieburger

"push the envelope and redefine the art of gaming." Thats all I need to hear.

Inu7
Inu7

Hasn't anyone ever played Dawn of War... ?

nugster1121
nugster1121

Company was easily the most dramatic change in rts for a lomg time. Cant wait to play every single campaign from WW2 and all wars berore and after. Awesome work guys good luck.

Knightmare06
Knightmare06

Company of Heroes is the greatest RTS made in the last decade.

NeoNavarro
NeoNavarro

Company of Heros was a good game I'm looking forward to the sequel.

ketsuatama
ketsuatama

Add another group to the "pushing the envelope " crowd. Deliver some games and then let us who ante up the cash be the judge!

sonic_spark
sonic_spark

New Vancouver? This isn't the states... here we say, Vancouver. I don't even think I've heard the term "new". To the actual news, hey, better games are always appreciated.

zakkss
zakkss

Over the years Relic has become my favorite RTS developer. Since at times I feel like I can't be bothered to build another "base" (I'm not much of an RTS player I know). Seems like Relic felt the same way and kept the gameplay fresh, fast and fun. So i'm a bit sad at seeing the team break up. Hopefully this news will mean that we will get twice the fun, and not weakened titles from both studios.

blackstuff
blackstuff

This can only be good. Look at blizzard many artists, developers left their company to form their own (arenanet and flageship) and all of their games own so far. Not to mention blizz is doing good. Im sure this will be equally rewarding

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

Hope it's something really original and not the refurbished crap that's been out for the past while.

Jade_Monkey
Jade_Monkey

They come from COH, i'll give them a shot based off that.

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

"Redefine the art of gaming", huh? Talk is cheap, and slogans are worthless. Make like I'm from Missouri, boys.

nemes1s3000
nemes1s3000

I'll defenitely be keeping an eye out for this game, let's hope it doesn't disapoint.

Agreb91
Agreb91

Seems more and more companies keep changing teams.

Pete5506
Pete5506

If it will make good games

Etherninty
Etherninty

tekmet I can answer that question. The problem often happens when a company becomes big. When a company is big, you are told what to do instead of what you can do. Your 'marge de manoeuvre' becomes very recuded for things you want to change. And that kind of job becomes not very fun in that context, you feel like someone else could do the same thing as you. And that's when you start asking your-self that question "what I am doing here? let's move somewhere else with a better pay and more respect". Of course, I can not talk for these guys, but that's what often happens.

majicebe
majicebe

Well, once Relic got sold, I'm sure things changed a bit internally. I could see that becoming a problem when you've gotten so used to a certain style. Relic might not have to worry about funds as much as it did, but I'm sure there's a lot more red tape. I just hope someone releases Homeworld 3 and moreso, Freespace 3 (long shot I know).

tekmet
tekmet

Is there something i don`t know? Why does this happen to every good team? Blizzard chnged more teams than it made games :/ Now Relic is getting on the same train... where`s the industry going to?

stefip
stefip

Why this happened? Look what happened to Blizzard and now they're doing the same. This looks bad as Relic really is leading company in RTS games and the loss of 3 key figures could end bad.

jaredcrazy3232
jaredcrazy3232

well i hope they aim shoot and hit a successeful and innovative game which leaves their gun smoking ready to make another sure fire hit.... sorry i just had to pun... but ya sounds promising

duxup
duxup

Odd choice for a name considering the well known website. I like to think they'll eventually revisit the Homeworld franchise sometime.

whitey3221
whitey3221

I like what these guys are saying I really think that gaming can be a changer of public opinion. At least on a small scale, I would say similar to the way the Daily Show has changed public opinion even if it is in just a small way.

tuff_gong92
tuff_gong92

Hey as long as great games are to come, I encourage this kind of thing. Horray independence!

L0stS0u1
L0stS0u1

Its only good news that teams split up. The parent companies will continue to prosper. Look at Blizzard, because they had people leave we got a great game called GuildWars and soon to get Hellgate London.

Black_Ops
Black_Ops

Anyone know if these guys were involved in making the Warhammer 40k stuff while at Relic?

Taylorcallow
Taylorcallow

NOOOO that means the new COH might be marginally worse than it could have been!

N00bl3t15
N00bl3t15

John Johnson - what kind of evil parents would do that?

manolobrown2
manolobrown2

Yeah these guys will definitely make some great games!

Chainblast
Chainblast

Definitely looking forward to what these guys will be able to bring but I hope their departure doesn't affect the quality of Relic products. That would be unfortunate.

killerfragger
killerfragger

that look sick ... while look to hear more about hit

Zonelezz
Zonelezz

well coh was a good game.. let shope they dont mess things up

Javaguychronox
Javaguychronox

well, I guess it is good so long as relic dont loose the quality of their games.