A new studio was launched today at Develop:Brighton: Vela Games. The studio is based in Dublin, already has 13 employees, with the team being lead by triple-A veterans from Riot Games and EA. It’s looking to take a “player-first” stance to games development with a specific focus on co-operative gaming.
The studio already raised EUR 3.4m in a funding round late last year and has now gone public in order to speak to further potential investors and to help build out its full team for its currently unannounced first tile title, which is based on an original IP.
“We love multiplayer and, as developers, we understand why players love it too,” said co-founder Brian Kaiser. “Most multiplayer games aren’t delivering rich, long-lasting co-operative play, because they aren’t building the experience from the ground up. Our goal is to design a whole new kind of a game that reflects what players love, while putting co-op front and center.”
Kaiser comes off 11 years at EA (largely working on The Sims franchise), while co-founders Lisa Newon George and Travis George both recently worked at Riot Games. The company stated: “As well as leading development on their first title, the leadership team will be focused on building a company culture that avoids harmful working practices and allows Vela Games developers to reach their full potential.”
“We value our players, but we also value our team,” commented Travis. “We chose Dublin as our base so we could recruit amazing international talent and give them excellent quality of life. By creating a great environment and team, we can create a great game.”
“Being a player first developer means players’ motivations and passions inform our decisions,” said co-founder Lisa Newon George. “As an anthropologist, my role is to facilitate the voice of the player from the very beginning and to make our game and community as strong as it can be.”
The studio is an exciting new proposition for developers both in Ireland and beyond. It’s refreshing to see a studio squarely take on co-op gameplay from the off. We’ll bring you a full interview with the team in the near future.