Improbable, the company behind the SpatialOS technology for huge persistent online worlds, has today announced that it’s going to develop its own online multiplayer games using the technology.
The first studio, based in Edmonton, will be lead by former BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn, who lead production across the Dragon Age, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Mass Effect franchises. Presumably he will carry that world-building and RPG experience into his work at Improbable.
The studio already has around 50 staff across all disciplines and is continuing to grow. Flynn's appointment was announced in September, but this is a big step beyond the demos and tools he was initially claimed to be working on.
A second studio is being created in London, lead by John Wasilczyk, who has previously held producer roles at Infinity Ward, Epic Games, and DICE. So that’s most likely a shooter of some sort coming too, with Improbable having already worked with others on battle royale-style games with thousands or more players.
And that could just be the beginning of the company’s ambitions to leverage its own technology, with the statement noting that: “Improbable is initially announcing these studios but is also interested in founding or growing other studios in additional locations and supporting remote teams.” While adding that the studios will also “spearhead major technological advancements that will be fundamental to improving the tools and techniques for our partner network.”
Herman Narula, co-founder and CEO at Improbable, said: “As our network of partners has grown we've come to work with an incredible range of studios and projects. We see our internal studios as a way to further support these partners by pushing technical and creative boundaries and then sharing those learnings with our developer community.
“We look forward to seeing what our highly talented studios - in Edmonton, London and other locations in the future - will bring not only to players but also to the continued growth and development of SpatialOS.”
Aaryn Flynn, now Improbable’s general manager of North America, commented:
“I was interested in making a game using SpatialOS from the very first time I spoke to Improbable. Building tools and content has been a great way for our Edmonton team to master SpatialOS, but a full game was always an opportunity myself and others had in mind as the Edmonton studio took shape. Now, after a lot of great hires and great progress, we’re going to focus on creating that game using Unreal Engine 4 and building on SpatialOS’ next-generation online games platform.
“We’ve grown fast but we’re still looking for additional team members in Engineering, Art, Design and QA to build out our team further. As things progress, we’re excited to show you more in the future.”
We’ll be talking to Narula and Flynn at GDC and will bring you more on the company’s reasons for the move into internal development.