Epic Games Reforms Studio from Ashes of Amalur

Epic Games Reforms Studio from Ashes of Amalur

Pictured from left to right: Ian Frazier, Lead Designer; Phil Teschner, Engine Architect; Sean Dunn, Studio Director; Michael Fridley, Executive Producer; Bryant Freitag, Lead Programmer; Tim Coman, Lead Artist
Pictured from left to right: Ian Frazier, Lead Designer; Phil Teschner, Engine Architect; Sean Dunn, Studio Director; Michael Fridley, Executive Producer; Bryant Freitag, Lead Programmer; Tim Coman, Lead Artist

Former employees of Big Huge Games now call themselves Impossible Studios.

The studio based in Maryland has had a long history. Formed by Brian Reynolds - creator of Civ 2 and Alpha Centauri at Firaxis - before he left for greener pastures at Zynga. Lead designer of Oblivion Ken Rolston joined the team to make an RPG, but THQ was going to close the studio. Curt Schilling and 38 Studios came to the rescue and the team shifted to make Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning ... and we all know how that turned out. This summer, Epic Games swooped in to hire some of the members of the team to capitalize on the successful Infinity Blade franchise on iOS. Today, Epic Games announced the formation of Impossible Studios with five previous Big Huge employees at the helm. The new studio will be based in Huntsville, Maryland, and begin work on a new game called Infinity Blade: Dungeons.

"Epic Games has truly embraced this stellar collection of developers who were displaced by the closing of Big Huge Games," said the head of the new Impossible Studios, Sean Dunn. "They have looked after us with complete care, giving us all the tools and resources we need to make a lot of gamers happy."

Game designers at the Cary, North Carolina headquarters of Epic Games conceived the concept for Dungeons, and tasked Impossible with making it in collaboration with Chair Interactive, who made the first Infinity Blade.

"We were so glad we could help keep this great team together, and we're lucky to have them," said Michael Capps, President of Epic Games. "At the time, I said that finding a full team of superstars was 'impossible' and apparently the name stuck! Pairing the imagination and experience of Impossible with Epic's technology, IP and resources makes for a business greater than the sum of its parts."

Epic plans for Infinity Blade: Dungeons to be completed and available on iOS by the end of 2012. Sound impossible? Well, that's a job for Impossible Studios!

Sorry.

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Greg Tito:
Former employees of Bug Huge Games now call themselves Impossible Studios.

Typo, non?

OT: Meh, I found the demo for Amalur really dull, and it looked like it was trying to be WoW. Also, I have nothing that runs iOS :-P

Bug huge games? Who are these people?

Joking about typoes aside, nice to hear that these people are getting work.

With the amount of animators I know looking for work, it's good to hear that these people didn't lose their jobs.

Now make Amalur 2.

DO EET!

Well I'm sure the studio is abuzz with activity.

MortisLegio:
With the amount of animators I know looking for work, it's good to hear that these people didn't lose their jobs.

Animators are having a hard time finding work? When it's being used heavily as a medium? Please let me know more because that is a career field I am interested in heavily (On my way to SCAD to maybe make it a major)

OT: Epic aren't bad people, I think when we have studios saving other developers, we have to realize there is still good in the industry.

Zachary Amaranth:
Now make Amalur 2.

DO EET!

Unfortunately the Amalur IP is now the property of the US government. But don't worry, they have a great track record in making RPGs. I'm sure it's in good hands.

OT: It's good those guys found a decent place to work. Although I like Infinity Blade I'd much rather get an Amalur 2 as well.

Greg Tito:
The studio based in Maryland has had a long history. Formed by Brian Williams - creator of Civ 2 and Alpha Centauri at Firaxis

I believe you mean Brian Reynolds.

Let's not forget to point out that their new logo is a flying bear with a unicorn horn. If that's not a sign of one hell of a creative team, I don't know what is.

Good luck to these guys, shame about their old team, I hope everything works out this time around.

FYI for those looking for it on a map, I believe the location should actually be Hunt Valley, Maryland. (Just north of Baltimore)

Did anyone else see their logo and think of the motherfuckin' bear-o-dactyl?

image

Bear+(Pegasus+Unicorn)-Horse=Impossible...

Hope things go well for these guys after last time.

You know, taking a team that was part of one studio that was being shut down and another that went bankrupt after its first game and calling them "Impossible Studios" really is asking for trouble. Was "Two Strikes Games" already taken?

Woohoo! They're back! Kingdoms of Amalur was tons of fun, and the guys working on it were awesome. The problem was that baseball players don't know how to run video game companies. I'm looking forward to their new games.
Also, winged bears? Awesome.

Zynga
THQ
38 Studios

Truly, this is a story of sound economic decisions. Don't suppose anyone involved invested heavily in Enron at some point?

RhombusHatesYou:

Greg Tito:
The studio based in Maryland has had a long history. Formed by Brian Williams - creator of Civ 2 and Alpha Centauri at Firaxis

I believe you mean Brian Reynolds.

Ugh, yes, you are correct. I was talking about NBC's Brian Williams when I was writing this post and my mind got borked.

Fixed. Thanks.

Infinity Blade Dungeons? You mean this?
http://www.screwattack.com/trailers/infinity-blade-dungeons-trailer

Greaaaaaaaaat. Just what we need huh? Sorry if I'm not impressed Impossible Studios, but considering my lack of interest (and need) to buy an overpriced phone/tablet, specially just to play a single game. It's kind of hard to justify any excitement for another game based solely on said overpriced device.
I was kind of hoping that the "action RPG" rumor I was hearing a while back about these guys was gonna be for a console. I only recently got around to playing Amalur and loved the heck out of what I played in it. Silly me for expecting Epic to get these guys to work on an original IP instead of a game already in the making for several months now.

Terminate421:

MortisLegio:
With the amount of animators I know looking for work, it's good to hear that these people didn't lose their jobs.

Animators are having a hard time finding work? When it's being used heavily as a medium? Please let me know more because that is a career field I am interested in heavily (On my way to SCAD to maybe make it a major)

OT: Epic aren't bad people, I think when we have studios saving other developers, we have to realize there is still good in the industry.

To be fair, I don't live in an area with a ton of animation studios, but the problem is that animation is extremely saturated with people so studios get to pick and choose who they want. If your in an area with a lot of studios and you are decent (also call up a few studios* and talk to them wont hurt) you have a better chance.

*Don't aim for big game/movie studios first, you can get a dream job later.*

Well, as much as I liked infinity blade, I stopped playing simply due to the fact that it kept growing. As new parts were added, in started to take up a good third of my ipod's memory.

However, I really, REALLY like amalur, and it's good to see these guys get bailed out.

Fantastic news.
I wasn't even a fan of Amular but it broke my heart to see all these people go out of their jobs just because of "tha govment".
Good to see people are bouncing back.

Scrustle:

Zachary Amaranth:
Now make Amalur 2.

DO EET!

Unfortunately the Amalur IP is now the property of the US government. But don't worry, they have a great track record in making RPGs. I'm sure it's in good hands.

OT: It's good those guys found a decent place to work. Although I like Infinity Blade I'd much rather get an Amalur 2 as well.

Gawsh, that sucks. If only there were a way for, say, a government body with no experience in gaming to license their intellectual property to a developer for use in building a game. In this upside-down world, a developer could work on a game without owning the property in question and perhaps do it better than the owner could hope it. But alas, as I feel myself feverish with madness, I must go lie down and let the surgeon drill a hole in my head.

 

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