Ex-Sacred 2 devs form Gaming Minds Studios

Kalypso Media backs upstart studio emerging from ashes of Ascaron bankruptcy, confirms continuation of the Patrician series.

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In April, Sacred 2 developer Ascaron Entertainment filed for bankruptcy protection in its native Germany. Publisher Kalypso Media picked up the majority of the developer's licenses and assets last month and this week added some ex-Ascaron staff as well.

Sacred 2 turned out to be Ascaron's swan song, but Kalypso will continue on with some of the developer's franchises.
Sacred 2 turned out to be Ascaron's swan song, but Kalypso will continue on with some of the developer's franchises.

Kalypso Media announced that it is the majority shareholder in the newly formed Gaming Minds Studios, a Gutersloh, Germany, outfit made up of 15 ex-Ascaron employees. Gaming Minds is headed up by lead designer Daniel Dumont and technical director Kay Struve.

The publisher isn't waiting long to get a return on its investment. As part of its acquisition, Kalypso now owns the rights to Ascaron franchises Port Royale, Darkstar One, On the Ball, and The Patrician. Its first release using that library of intellectual properties will come this summer with a continuation of the Patrician historic strategy series. The new game will be The Patrician III, presumably not the same product as Ascaron's 2003 PC title Patrician III: Rise of the Hanse.

The Gaming Minds startup boosts Kalypso's development presence in Germany. Last November, the publisher established Realmforge Studios in Munich. Between Realmforge and Gaming Minds, Kalypso has four new games in development with tentative 2010 release windows.

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