With spy-themed massively multiplayer online game The Agency still in the works, a trio of the game's developers has defected to form its own studio. On July 4--Independence Day--SOE Seattle veterans Matt Wilson, John Smith, and Corey Dangel officially established Detonator Games. According to its Web site, the studio's mission is "to bring the best of social entertainment to the emerging world of mobile and social networks." Its first project is unannounced.
Detonator's establishment is not the first time building a studio from the ground up for Wilson and Smith; the pair was also part of FireAnt Games, which hadn't even released a game before SOE acquired it and converted it to SOE Seattle. As for the cofounders' roles at Detonator, Wilson will serve as creative director, Dangel as art director, and Smith as technical director.
When asked how the departure of the Detonator crew has affected The Agency, an SOE rep told GameSpot, "As it relates to The Agency, the team in Seattle is still working diligently on this project, and we're looking forward to showing you new content in the future!"
The Agency has been atop SOE's development slate for some time. Originally announced for the PlayStation 3 and PC in 2007, the game has been shown time and again, but SOE has yet to commit to a launch window, much less a concrete release date. The publisher's attention has been split, however. In that same span of time, it was folded into Sony Computer Entertainment proper, launched the MMOG Free Realms, and has continued work on another long-awaited project, DC Universe Online.