Arkane's co-founder opens new studio to make games Arkane fans will like
November 20, 20192 min read
Creation is fueled by passion, so it should surprise no one that two years after resigning from Arkane, the studio's co-founder has fallen back into making the type of games Arkane excels at. Raphael Colantonio and Julien Roby -- former Arkane co-founder and executive producer, respectively -- have started a new development team that takes a smaller approach to crafting memorable experiences.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, the duo announces the formation of WolfEye Studios, which is a collection of fewer than 20 employees who all work remotely. That modest size is by design. Colantonio explains that he believes the huge-budget teams with hundreds of employees are forced to make safe games. "I don't know the commercial viability of that, and it probably pushes the industry toward making games that are very low-risk," he muses. "They're super impressive, big Hollywood blockbusters, but without much substance. That's my fear of going big."
Roby elaborates on WolfEye's intentions: "We really wanted to get back to the core ideas we both like in games, both as players and as designers," he says. "We like games that respond to player actions, where the world reacts to what you are doing, and the experience is owned by the player. It was what we wanted to get back to rather than being constantly distracted by the complexity of doing games which are technically more involved, and little by little your focus in development moves away from the actual experience toward technicalities which in the end don't change the experience much."
Eventually, the two seem to admit that people who like Arkane games will probably be drawn to WolfEye's projects. That's because they're making games that they want to make -- which is largely what they were doing at Arkane too. No one's shedding specifics about WolfEye's debut game, but we can probably expect it to be immersive with narrative that's strongly tied to gameplay.
We'll get our first look next month. WolfEye has a worldwide reveal at The Game Awards on December 12. Until then, WolfEye leaves us with some of its guiding philosophy: ""...A small [studio] doesn't mean making small games. We can make big games that focus on the right areas."