Flagship alums opening Turbine West

Hellgate: London castaways join crew of Lord of the Rings Online developer's new California studio.


Amid ongoing reports of doom and gloom, Flagship Studios CEO and cofounder Bill Roper confirmed the worst in July, saying that his studio had undergone wide-scale layoffs. In the wake of that announcement, former Flagship staffers Travis Baldree and Max Schaefer joined several other castaways in forming a new studio devoted to online action role-playing games, Runic Games.

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Now, a few more ex-Flagship castaways have found a safe harbor. Today, massively multiplayer online gaming specialists Turbine Inc. announced the opening of a new West Coast studio, and in so doing, conscripted former Flagship chief visionary officer Dave Brevik as well as Jeff Lind, who led the team that built Hellgate's online platform. With Brevik slotting into the studios' chief creative position and Lind assuming the director-of-engineering role, Turbine has appointed former Sniper Studios head Matt McKnight as studio director.

Turbine's West Coast studio will be located in Redwood City, California, down the road from Electronic Arts and Nintendo of America's publicity operations. The developer did not identify any specific projects that the team will be working on, and said only that it will play a role in Turbine's "corporate vision." In addition to revenues generated from the likes of Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons & Dragons Online, and Asheron's Call, the road to that vision has been paved by a $40 million injection in funds, which Turbine received in June.

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