Shortly before the holidays, regional industry site ScottishGames.biz revealed that several former technology developers for Crackdown had formed a new studio, Ruffian Games. Speculation quickly followed that a sequel to the 2007 Xbox 360-exclusive hit, which has sold nearly 750,000 copies in North America according to the NPD Group, might be in the works.
Today, Ruffian officially opened for business. In a brief press release, the company announced it is crafting an "action" game under the terms of "a development contract with a major publisher." No specific companies, platforms, or titles were mentioned, but the studio did say it would focus on online play, with equal emphasis on "co-operative and competitive" multiplayer.
Other clues about Ruffian's mystery project--or projects--are found on the company's job listing page. The Dundee, Scotland-based shop is hiring for 21 positions, including three senior mission designers and another senior designer to help craft "gripping online team based multiplayer."
A listing for senior designer - game direction and gameplay setup specifically mentions that the unnamed game(s) will feature "vehicles and weaponry using [a] proprietary editor." Ruffian is also taking applications for a senior designer to create "challenging-yet-fun" in-game minigames that will yield "a plentiful variety of rewards for impressive gaming skills."
Finally, engineer position listings revealed that Ruffian is using Havok middleware, a physics technology used in dozens of games--including the original Crackdown.