What you need to know
- Jeff Strain is the founder of ArenaNet and Undead Labs.
- Strain is opening a new studio called Possibility Space, based in Louisiana while supporting remote work.
- Possibility Space includes veterans from Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Oculus and more.
Jeff Strain, a veteran of Blizzard Entertainment and founder of both ArenaNet and Undead Labs, announced a new studio called Possibility Space on Wednesday. Joining Strain are veterans of the game industry and newcomers alike, including Austin Walker from VICE as IP director, Liz England from Ubisoft as narrative director and Jane Ng from Campo Santo as visual director.
Many veterans in the gaming industry are heading out on their own, with several new studios over the last year embracing a global work-from-home approach.
"Like many others, the past year and a half has been a fraught time for me," says Strain. "While I am grateful that my family is safe, the anxiety, fear, and isolation of the last 18 months has been almost unbearable at times. That fear and isolation was the catalyst for Possibility Space, a modern kind of game studio, where we are creating a joyful game that's been my dream for many years. I'm delighted and grateful for the team that has chosen to share in this vision and bring it life."
While based in New Orleans, Louisiana, the team is described as being "physically distributed," with developers able to choose from where they want to work. Strain adds that "We felt this was the right time to create something new–a studio built from the ground up to embrace evolving needs and perspectives for both players and developers."
Possibility Space is being funded through multiple avenues, with venture capital firm Transcend Fund investing in the company earlier this year back in April.
Strain's former studio, Undead Labs, was acquired by Microsoft in 2018 and is part of Xbox Game Studios, working on State of Decay 3.
I wonder if he'll be pulling in the team at ManaWorks (other longtime ArenaNet vets who left to work on real-time player interaction tech). Time to set a reminder for this time next year to check on his progress.
There's a couple of other Undead Labs/ArenaNet veterans joining him, so it's certainly plausible. Offering global remote work indicates to me they want broad perspectives though.
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