Over 35 Video Game Studios 2020 game development game developers

We’re only a few weeks into the year and 2020 is still a relative unknown, especially when looking to the post-summer months. As the current generation begins to wrap up, studios and teams are looking to the horizon while straddling the tightrope of juggling a console transition. This year presents a unique opportunity for developers around the world to announce new video game projects and/or provide updates on existing titles in development.

With that said, we’ve taken the time to go in-depth and break down just who we might hear from this year, what they’ve done in the past, and what they’re currently working on (confirmed or otherwise) for your reading pleasure below! Let’s dive in, shall we?

Note: This list focuses on studios that have either announced games that we’ve seen very little of, or studios with unannounced projects we expect to hear about in 2020.

Turtle Rock Studios

What they’ve made: Left 4 Dead series, Evolve
What they’re working on: Back 4 Blood
Why you should pay attention: Making its name on the classic Left 4 Dead series of games, Turtle Rock Studios is working on an all-new co-op game called Back 4 Blood that sees you fighting through a zombie apocalypse. Sound familiar? Announced in early 2019 and being published by WB Games, it’s currently planned for release on PS4, Xbox One, and PC (and potentially other future platforms). If you’re a fan their past work, this could be one to watch.

Over 35 Video Game Studios 2020 game development game developers

Certain Affinity – Last Expedition

Certain Affinity

What they’ve made: Various multiplayer components on Call of Duty, Halo, Doom & more
What they’re working on: Last Expedition
Why you should pay attention: The studio is expanding and finally working on its own new IP in Last Expedition — announced almost a year ago. With a strong heritage in FPS experiences, the Austin developer describes this new game as an “ambitious original title” and a “sci-fi co-op FPS.” This certainly plays to the company’s strengths in the genre.

Hangar 13

What they’ve made: Mafia III
What they’re working on: New IP
Why you should pay attention: Led by studio founder Haden Blackman — himself a veteran of various past Star Wars titles like The Force Unleashed and Starfighter — Hangar 13 made its studio debut four years ago with Mafia III. The developer confirmed it’s working on a “surprising” new IP a couple of years back. Could 2020 be the year we finally see this mysterious new game?

Creative Assembly

What they’ve made: Total War series, Alien: Isolation, Halo Wars 2
What they’re working on: New IP
Why you should pay attention: Creative Assembly is no stranger to strategy players. Making its name with the enormous Total War series of games, the studio has earned its reputation as a talented developer. The production of Alien: Isolation was a complete surprise as well, which had its own set of fans. It is now diving into full-blown FPS territory with an all-new IP.

Cold Iron Studios

What they’ve made: N/A
What they’re working on: PC/Console shooter in the Alien IP
Why you should pay attention: This is an interesting one. Cold Iron Studios was founded back in 2015 by multiple industry veterans. Now over 30+ developers strong, the Silicon Valley team is hard at work on a new shared-world shooter based in the Alien franchise. Let’s hope it’s not a repeat of Colonial Marines, shall we?

Over 35 Video Game Studios 2020 game development game developers

OnceLost Games

What they’ve made: N/A
What they’re working on:  New IP (open-world RPG)
Why you should pay attention: OnceLost Games was founded by veteran developers who were instrumental in the creation of the original Elder Scrolls games, Arena and Daggerfall. While the budget and scope of this new game is unknown at this point, the studio aims to “reinvigorate the RPG genre with much-needed new ideas” and bridge the gap between design pillars of the 1990s and today’s production values. That’s exciting.

People Can Fly

What they’ve made: Gears of War: Judgment, co-developed Gears of War 2 & 3 and Bulletstorm
What they’re working on: Outriders
Why you should pay attention: Having worked on huge franchises like Gears of War, Polish developer People Can Fly is no stranger to the AAA space. There’s not much we know about their new co-op shooter other than the fact that it’s a AAA game set in a “dark and desperate sci-fi universe” and being published by Square Enix with some cool-looking teases for now. We think 2020 might be a good time to see more.

Embark Studios

What they’ve made: N/A
What they’re working on: New IP
Why you should pay attention: Formed up by former DICE devs, including the chief design officer Patrick Soderlund, Embark Studios is currently at work putting together an all-new sci-fi co-op free-to-play action game. With bits and pieces of concept art and technology demos already public, development seems to be going full steam ahead. The game is supposedly taking place on a large scale map (256 sq. km) with completely dynamic weather and lighting. Whether we see anything this year is anyone’s guess, but here’s hoping!

Cygames

What they’ve made: Granblue Fantasy, Shadowverse
What they’re working on: Project Awakening
Why you should pay attention: You’d be forgiven if you said you’ve never heard of Cygames. The Japanese developer has mostly made a name for itself in the mobile space on titles like Granblue Fantasy and Shadowverse. Flush with cash from those endeavors and over 2,000 employees strong, the studio is making a serious leap into the console space with its latest title called “Project Awakening.” We first caught a glimpse of this game back at the 2018 Tokyo Game Show and it looked great then. With a massive war chest and a legion of developers at its disposal, we could be in store for a quality action RPG. We’ll see if 2020 is the year it resurfaces.

 

Over 35 Video Game Studios 2020 game development game developers

Monster Squad

Monster Squad Games

What they’ve made: N/A
What they’re working on: New IP
Why you should pay attention: After Runic Games was shut down in 2017, developers from that studio and a few from Gearbox formed Monster Squad in 2018 to work on a new IP. That IP is still shrouded in mystery at this point beyond the occasional piece of concept art or GIF. All we know so far is that it’s co-op-based and focuses on “player satisfaction.” It’s been a bit since 2018, so we wouldn’t be surprised to finally see what the team has been up to this year.

Frictional Games

What they’ve made: SOMA, Amnesia series
What they’re working on: Unknown
Why you should pay attention: It’s been a long time since Frictional’s last game, SOMA. Five years to be exact. The team’s been extremely quiet these last several years, and that usually means one thing: There’s a new game brewing and Frictional has started an ARG campaign which means a reveal of their next project isn’t far off now.

Ghost Story Games

What they’ve made: N/A
What they’re working on: New IP
Why you should pay attention: Founded in early 2017 and led by BioShock‘s former creative lead Ken Levine, Ghost Story Games has been silent ever since it announced itself to the world. Much of the studio’s makeup is that of ex-Irrational Games developers, which itself is an exciting start. Levine divulged that the team’s debut title will be a brand new immersive sim. Is 2020 finally the year?

Rocksteady Studios

What they’ve made: Batman: Arkham series
What they’re working on: Unknown
Why you should pay attention: It’s the same every year: “This is the year we see what Rocksteady’s been working on.” For the past couple of years, Rocksteady fans have been foaming at the mouth to finally see what the UK studio is up to. And each year subsequently ends in immense disappointment. While rumors and speculation abound, one thing is true: It’s been five years since Batman: Arkham Knight and four years since the much smaller Batman: Arkham VR project. Come on… we have to see it this year. Right?

Over 35 Video Game Studios 2020 game development game developers

WB Montreal Teaser #1000

WB Games Montreal

What they’ve made: Batman: Arkham Origins
What they’re working on: Heavily rumored new Batman game
Why you should pay attention: First teased last year with a logo, WB Games Montreal’s new project is without a doubt a new installment in the Batman license. All signs point to the Court of Owls playing a prominent role. While we don’t suspect it to continue the “Arkhamverse” series of games, we’re expecting a soft reboot of sorts that sets the stage for new Batman games going into the next generation. Teased once again with another logo less than two weeks ago, we anticipate a reveal fairly soon.

WB Games

What they’ve made: N/A
What they’re working on: Harry Potter?
Why you should pay attention: This is an interesting one. Back in October 2018, video footage of a supposed Harry Potter game — later said to be an open-world RPG — leaked online. The content of the video looked seemingly high-quality in terms of production values. The Reddit user who leaked the video online described it as a third-person open-world action game in which you can customize your own wizard. There’s little doubt the game exists at this point, and this year could be a safe bet we see more. That is… if it’s still a thing.

Deck13 Interactive

What they’ve made: Lords of the Fallen, The Surge series
What they’re working on: New IP
Why you should pay attention: If you’ve enjoyed Deck13’s previous output in Lords of the Fallen and The Surge, then you’re in luck: expect another “Souls-like” game. However, the studio says this new IP will “play a little different” this time. It feels like the developer’s stride keeps getting better with each new game, and with production having started back in mid-2019, there could be a case made to see the first tease of this almost assuredly next-gen title this year.

From Software

What they’ve made: Dark Souls, Bloodborne, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
What they’re working on: Elden Ring
Why you should pay attention: Everyone and their mother has heard of Dark Souls by now. Once a fairly niche developer in terms of audience, Japanese developer From Software has grown into a household name thanks to one successful game after the next. Its latest new IP, Elden Ring, is a collaboration between Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R.R. Martin and said to be an open-world action game in the vein of From Software’s previous titles. Debuting last year at E3 2019, we suspect we might catch an updated look in 2020.

Jumpship

What they’ve made: N/A
What they’re working on: Somerville
Why you should pay attention: Founded by the co-founder and former CEO of Playdead in 2017, Jumpship is a new indie studio working on a title called Somerville. The studio is led by Chris Olsen, who spent time at Ninja Theory on Heavenly Sword but mostly stuck to film as an animator and pre-visualization artist on big names like Harry Potter, Avengers, and Iron Man. Jumpship describes Somerville as a “sci-fi action adventure that chronicles the lives of key individuals in the wake of a global catastrophe.” With a couple of teasers since then, a full reveal this year could be in the cards.

Bethesda Game Studios

What they’ve made: The Elder Scrolls, Fallout
What they’re working on: Starfield, The Elder Scrolls VI
Why you should pay attention: We saw our first look at Bethesda’s foray into the next generation with the announcement of an all-new sci-fi IP called Starfield. This is a massive deal. Known for behemoths like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 3 and 4, the team at Bethesda is working on their first brand new IP in 25 years. That’s a momentous occasion for the studio, and it marks a significant step in its portfolio growth. It’s been two years since that short teaser. We know Todd Howard likes to talk more about games when they’re closer to release, so while we’re not quite certain on seeing anything this year, the marketing game changed when they decided to reveal projects well in advance with Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI. We still say to watch this space (no pun intended).

Arkane Studios

What they’ve made: Dishonored, Prey (2017)
What they’re working on: Deathloop
Why you should pay attention: Dishonored is a wonderful series. Prey‘s 2017 reboot was a great game. What do they have in common? They’re developed by Arkane Studios, who, at Bethesda’s E3 2019 conference, announced Deathloop. It’s a new IP that “transports players to the lawless island of Blackreef in an eternal struggle between two extraordinary assassins.” The premise of hunting down targets on a big island and approaching scenarios in any number of ways from the creators of Dishonored is a tantalizing thought. We hope we see more of this at this year’s E3.

Avalanche Studios

What they’ve made: Just Cause series, Mad Max
What they’re working on: Next-gen title
Why you should pay attention: There’s not much we know about Avalanche Studios’ next project. The developer’s job postings certainly don’t hide the fact that they’re deep in development on a next-generation game. Though the team recently wrapped up the bulk of work on RAGE 2 last year, we suspect another team was busy with this new title and wouldn’t be surprised to get a peek at it with new consoles coming this holiday.

Over 35 Video Game Studios 2020 game development game developers

Tango Gameworks

What they’ve made: The Evil Within series
What they’re working on: Ghostwire Tokyo
Why you should pay attention: Debuting at last year’s E3, Ghostwire Tokyo is the next game from Japanese developer Tango Gameworks. Led by the father of Resident Evil himself – Shinji Mikami – the studio is known for the creation of The Evil Within series of games. This new title is said to be an “action-adventure game in which you’ll fight paranormal enemies and rid the city of supernatural evil.” Creative director Ikumi Nakamura left the company a few months after reveal, so the state of the game is relatively unknown at this point, though Mikami is now leading the project. An update this year isn’t out of the question.

Bluepoint Games

What they’ve made: Shadow of the Colossus (remaster), Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection & other remasters
What they’re working on: Unannounced PS5 title
Why you should pay attention: Bluepoint Games, or as we like to call them: the Master of Remasters, is working on an unannounced PlayStation 5 title. They’ve done fantastic work in porting games to various systems including God of War, Metal Gear Solid, and Titanfall as well as remastering classics from Uncharted to Gravity Rush and most recently Shadow of the Colossus. This new title is being described as the “achievement we’re most proud of” by the studio. If Shadow of the Colossus is anything to go by, consider us excited. There’s little doubt we finally see it this year.

Housemarque

What they’ve made: Super Stardust HD, Resogun, Alienation, Nex Machina
What they’re working on: Unannounced AAA title
Why you should pay attention: In its own words, Finnish developer Housemarque is moving away from arcade titles and diving head first into the AAA market. Loved for its work on darlings like Resogun and Super Stardust HD, the studio has been staffing up since 2017 for a “new, unannounced AAA IP.” It’s been a little while since then, and the studio just put out a press release stating their “publishing partner” will reveal what they are working on in the very near future with launch expected after that.

Turn 10

What they’ve made: Forza Motorsport series
What they’re working on: Forza Motorsport 7 + new title
Why you should pay attention: While Turn 10 is still supporting Forza Motorsport 7, it’s not a stretch to say that fans are mostly now looking to the future for the next game in the long-running franchise. With a brand new Xbox launching this holiday coupled with the fact that it will have been three years since their last game, a new Forza Motorsport is all but assured at this point.

Playdead

What they’ve made: Limbo, Inside
What they’re working on: New sci-fi IP
Why you should pay attention: Four years ago, developer Playdead released the indie darling Inside to widespread critical and financial acclaim. Building on elements from 2011’s Limbo, Inside became one of 2016’s most lauded games. What we know about the studio’s next project is limited to a few bits and pieces. Playdead describes it as a “fairly lonely sci-fi game somewhere in the universe.” Studio founder and art director Arnt Jensen also confirmed that they’ll be moving away from 2D sidescrollers and into full 3D landscapes to explore. While Playdead typically takes a very long time to launch its games, a lot of time has passed since Inside. Could we finally see what they’re up to this year?

Bloober Team

What they’ve made: Layers of Fear, Observer, Blair Witch
What they’re working on: New cyberpunk horror game
Why you should pay attention: Polish developer Bloober Team has been quite busy over the last several years, releasing a new game almost every single year since 2010 with the exception of 2018. The studio has had various hits and misses, but their highest-profile release is arguably 2017’s Observer, which saw you play as detective Daniel Lazarski (Rutger Hauer) to investigate a crime in a futuristic cyberpunk Poland. It was generally well received, and a recent teaser suggests we’ll be returning to the world of Observer soon.

Iron Galaxy Studios

What they’ve made: Killer Instinct (Season 2 & 3), Extinction, various ports
What they’re working on: Unknown
Why you should pay attention: Best known for its work on Killer Instinct for Xbox One, Iron Galaxy is a jack of all trades. It’s ported The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Diablo III to Nintendo Switch and created its own IP a couple years back in Extinction. Sure, they ported Overwatch to Switch last year, but it’s been some time since we’ve heard of what the rest of the studio is really up to.

Massive Entertainment

What they’ve made: World in Conflict, The Division series
What they’re working on: Avatar project
Why you should pay attention: The studio behind The Division is making an Avatar game. Sound crazy enough? We’re obliged to agree. The team at Massive Entertainment announced development of a new game in James Cameron’s wildly popular fictional universe back in 2017. With Avatar 2 finally getting around to actually releasing next year, this year is as good a time as any to start drumming up marketing for both the film and the game.

Playground Games

What they’ve made: Forza Horizon series
What they’re working on: Open-world RPG project
Why you should pay attention: According to Xbox boss Phil Spencer, the team at Playground Games is working on an unannounced open-world RPG. First revealed back at E3 2018 after an acquisition by Microsoft, the game seems to be quite large as the UK developer is continuously staffing up to accommodate development. Rumors have circulated for a while now with signs pointing to a new entry in the dormant Fable series. Will 2020 finally be the year it’s revealed? We’ll find out soon enough.

Polyphony Digital

What they’ve made: Gran Turismo series
What they’re working on: Unknown
Why you should pay attention: Gran Turismo Sport turns three years old this year. We know Polyphony Digital likes to take its time with its releases – Sport launched four years after Gran Turismo 6 – but it wouldn’t be too out there to think we might see a new game (announcement or release) from the legendary racing studio this year.

Arrowhead Game Studios

What they’ve made: Magicka, Gauntlet, Helldivers
What they’re working on: Online co-op shooter
Why you should pay attention: It’s been five years since our friends in Sweden, Arrowhead, graced our gaming platforms with Helldivers. As we understand it, Arrowhead is working on a new third-person online co-op shooter, pivoting away from the more isometric shoot ’em ups and beat ’em ups it has done in the past. What it ends up being is anyone’s guess, but it’s been a good minute since 2015. With new consoles coming this holiday, could a launch title be in the works?

SIE Japan Studio

What they’ve made: Ape Escape, Patapon, The Last Guardian, Gravity Rush
What they’re working on: Unknown
Why you should pay attention: The last game we saw from this PlayStation studio was Knack II way back in 2017. With IPs like Gravity Rush, Ape Escape, and The Last Guardian under its belt, fans are right to be clamoring for any news on what the teams within Japan Studio are working on. 2020 could finally be time to shine once again.

The Astronauts

What they’ve made: The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
What they’re working on: Witchfire
Why you should pay attention: Witchfire was officially revealed in December 2017 at The Game Awards and slated to be released “when it’s done.” It’s described as a sort of dark fantasy first-person shooter. It’s difficult to ascertain when our next glimpse at the game will be – the team is fairly small after all. But it’s been a while and this year is as good as any to get an update.

The Initiative 

What they’ve made: N/A
What they’re working on: Unknown
Why you should pay attention: Described in official job postings as a “AAAA” studio, The Initiative is purportedly Microsoft’s desire to bring together some of the best talent from the games industry together to create new experiences. With veterans from Tomb Raider to God of War, this new Santa Monica-based studio is staffing up something fierce. Head of Xbox Game Studios Matt Booty stated that we’d learn more about what they’re up to at some point this year. E3, anyone?

Ubisoft

What they’ve made: Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell, The Division, Watch Dogs, Rayman & more
What they’re working on: Multiple projects
Why you should pay attention: We had to include Ubisoft here, and more specifically: Splinter Cell. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has acknowledged time and again how much fans desire a return to the dormant spy thriller franchise. Splinter Cell: Blacklist came out way back in 2013. It’s been a while and there’s little doubt that something is cooking with the IP. The when and where is the question at this point. Every year is seemingly “the year” we think we’ll finally see our old friend Sam Fisher again. Here we are in 2020… Is it time?

EA

What they’ve made: Star Wars: Battlefront, Jedi: Fallen Order
What they’re working on: Multiple projects
Why you should pay attention: Like Ubisoft above, we know EA has a whole smorgasbord of titles in development and currently has the rights to publish Star Wars games. With the shutdown of Visceral Games and the cancellation of creative director Amy Hennig’s Star Wars project years back, the state of Star Wars and EA is up in the air this year. Jedi: Fallen Order released to critical and financial success only a few months ago, and according to a Kotaku report from Jason Schreier, a team at EA Vancouver also had their open-world Star Wars project cancelled (said to be cobbled together from concepts from Visceral’s game). However, a seemingly “smaller” Star Wars project seems to be in the works as that same report states, which may see the light of day this year.

New Sony San Diego Studio

What they’ve made: N/A
What they’re working on: Unknown
Why you should pay attention: This one took some investigation. Back around mid-2018, sleuths on popular gaming forum ResetEra discovered job postings stating that Sony was “building a new game development team” in the San Diego area in partnership with the Visual Arts Service Group (VASG). VASG is a team specializing in motion capture and animation and has a history of working with first-party Sony studios on projects including Uncharted, God of War, and Death Stranding. Since then we’ve seen various talented PlayStation developers join this mysterious new team. Whether we see anything surface this year is anyone’s guess, but we wouldn’t be surprised!

Nate Najda
Nate is the Communications Manager at Wushu Studios. When he’s not, he’s also a contributor on The Escapist and an avid connoisseur of all things Mass Effect. You can also find him on his personal site, Shinobi Speaks.

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