Rockstar Leeds Looks at New IP

| 13 Aug 2007 16:01

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories studio Rockstar Leeds discusses the development of new properties for the next-generation consoles at the Develop Conference.

Rockstar Leeds, the handheld division of Rockstar Games responsible for the Grand Theft Auto PSP games and the Wii port of Table Tennis, is now looking at developing original intellectual properties for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Studio boss Gordon Hall talked at length about the division's growth and future plans in an interview with Develop Magazine.

Develop Magazine: So what's next for the studio?

Gordon Hall: We're currently at 70 guys, but are now growing. Until now we've been very focused and quite closed off, rarely interviewing and hiring - we have a very slow hire process, because we look for the right people and want those that fit with the culture and the team. But are expanding: we're going to take up more space in the office block we are based in. There's the capacity to have 40 more staff, but I only want to take on about 25 at most.

DM: What about new games?

GH: We're just finishing off Table Tennis, which is a lovely product to work on - I think it's really found its home on Wii.

After that we're going to be branching out further into next-gen - we've done original work on an existing franchise, but now we want to work on new IPs, and are looking at what we can do on Xbox 360 and PS3 for original products. But to succeed on those formats you've got to put everything into it or step away - we're already lucky to have a really committed team, so I think from that we will step up to become an established Rockstar studio known for original projects. It's not over for handheld for us - there's more coming there - but our new focus will be on the new formats. I'm also very inspired by PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade - it's currently untapped for us, and is a field the whole world overall has overlooked.

One idea we are talking about that I can't talk too much about is something we've discussed with Sam Houser a lot, and when we talk about the concept - which is just a postage stamp sized idea at the moment, it's not in production yet - just makes us crack up laughing. It's an idea that the New York team came up with and which then evolved as we discussed it with them; it's a short development cycle, just 18 months, and it really excites me. But you know what we're like - we don't say anything concrete about a game until a few months before release, so that's all I can say.

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