Four years ago, Halo creator Alex Seropian established Wideload Games to try a new model of game development. He hired a few full-time staffers to handle key creative and oversight duties, outsourcing as much development as possible en route to creating Stubbs the Zombie and Hail to the Chimp.
Now developers from another frontline franchise are following in Seropian's footsteps. A trio of former Retro Studios employees who played key roles on the Metroid Prime GameCube and Wii games has struck out on their own, announcing the formation of Armature Studio this week. The developers aren't straying too far from their old home, however, as Armature will be based in Austin, Texas, just like Retro.
Headed by Prime's game director Mark Pacini, art director Todd Keller, and principal technology engineer Jack Matthews, Armature will focus on a small core of creative talent partnering with "strategic external developers" to create compelling new intellectual properties. To get those games into players' hands, it has signed a long-term exclusive publishing deal with Electronic Arts. If a statement from Pacini is anything to go by, the team is looking to expand well beyond its Nintendo platform roots.
"What really gets me going is that, now, no platform is off limits," Pacini said. "That is just something we didn't have the ability to do before."