When projects wrap, its often time for developers to ply their trade elsewhere, voluntarily or no. For Lionhead Studios, that equates to lead designer Richard Ham following Fable II out the door. Landing on his feet in no short order, UK-based Splash Damage announced today that it has signed aboard Ham as its new creative director.
At Splash Damage, Ham will take the reins of the developer's unannounced project commissioned by Bethesda Softworks. Details are nonexistent on what the long-term development deal revealed in May entails, and today's announcement did little to change that fact. However, Splash Damage did note that the game will be a multiplatform venture, and the studio also played up Ham's role as creative lead on Syphon Filter, "the all-time best-selling shooter franchise for the original PlayStation." (Emphasis added.)
Indeed, Ham comes to the company as a 15-year game-industry veteran. Beginning his career at Nintendo of America, Ham later transitioned to a role at Sony Computer Entertainment of America, where he led development on the aforementioned Syphon Filter. Ham also served as creative director at Edge of Reality (The Incredible Hulk), before moving to Lionhead.
Splash Damage, founded in 2001 by several members of the id Software mod-making community, most recently crafted the PC edition of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. Though the PC title was deemed by critics to be vastly superior to its console counterparts (which Activision handed off to Nerve Software and Z-Axis), the title has managed less than 80,000 units in the US through October, according to the NPD Group.