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343 Studio Head Josh Holmes Departs Company

Josh Holmes has been the Studio Head for 343 Industries for a number of years, overseeing Halo 5 and working as the Creative Director for Halo 4. Now, however, Holmes is departing the studio in order to pursue independent game development.

Announced on the Halo Waypoint blog, the news comes with some recollections about Holmes' work on the series. "Josh has been an instrumental leader for the Halo franchise," says 343 Founder Bonnie Ross. "I wanted to thank him for everything he has done for us and the Halo franchise, and I wish him the best of luck on his next adventure."

Holmes will be replaced by Chris Lee, previously the Lead Producer on Halo 4 and 5. "He is a tremendous leader and Halo is in great hands with him," said Holmes of Lee.

You can watch us interview Holmes during his tenure at 343 on the development of Halo 4, below.

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[Source: Halo Waypoint Blog via GameSpot]

 

Our Take
I wish Holmes the best on his future endeavors. 

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Ubisoft opens fourth Eastern European studio in Belgrade, Serbia

Ubisoft Belgrade’s staff of fifteen is currently collaborating with studios in Kiev and Paris on Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, and the company plans to employ up to 40 people in the coming year. …


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Details on GameMaker Studio 2 features roll out as limited beta begins

YoYo Games has announced GameMaker Studio 2, a new development tool that rebuilds the Studio platform with a new UI, node based coding, and overall updated workspaces. …


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The Outsiders, Studio Formed By Ex-Battlefield Developers, Reveal Glimpse Of New Viking Horror Game

The Outsiders, a studio founded by David Goldfarb and other developers who worked on the Battlefield franchise, has revealed two minutes of a new game with a working title of Project Wight. Project Wight takes place in an alternate timeline where Vikings share the world with "the remnants of a forgotten species."

You play as one of the creatures, trying to navigate environments with Vikings who want to kill you The clip showcases nearly three minutes of gameplay. You can watch the whole thing here:

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Be sure to check out our piece on the history of The Outsiders here.

Our Take
The Outsiders is a studio with a lot of talent and I am super into the idea of a viking horror game. More please.

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Developer Of Cult Classic Games Swery 65 Has Retired From His Studio

Hidetaka Suehiro (AKA Swery 65) a popular developer associated with cult games like Deadly Premonition and D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die, has announced he's retiring from his studio Access Games. Swery made the announcement on Twitter last night:

Swery took a break last year from developing games due to reactive hypoglycemia. He had hoped to return to games development after a short break. Sadly, it looks like that won't be the case though he reports his health is improving. It's worth noting that the tweet here explicitly says "Access Games," and not the games industry as a whole so there might be a chance he returns to development outside of Access Games one day.

For a look at Swery's work, be sure to check out our Chronicles of Deadly Premonition.

 

Our Take
Whatever you may think of Swery's games, they are bizarre and their own kinds of beasts, something you can't say about most video games. We hope that Swery's health continues to improve and that maybe we'll see more games spring from his delightful mind one day.

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King shuts down Singapore-based mobile studio, Nonstop Games

Candy Crush Saga creator King has pulled down the shutters on its Singapore-based mobile studio, Nonstop Games.  …


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Sundered Offers Hand-Drawn Horrors From Studio Behind Jotun

Thunder Lotus Games, the indie studio behind the game Jotun, has revealed its second game. Sundered is a procedurally generated platformer with dark horror themes and massive boss battles, capped off with gorgeous hand-drawn art and animation.

Players explore a horrific world as Eshe, a wanderer trapped in a series of mysterious caverns. According to the developer, the game's been designed with replayability in mind – from the changing world to player choices with in-game consequences. Take a look at the trailer below to get a sense of what you're up against.

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Sundered is set for a 2017 release on PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, and Linux.

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The realities of being a game designer in a big studio like BioWare

James Ohlen has been in the game industry for a while now – 20 years just at BioWare. Today, he’s design director of the EA-owned developer looking over franchises like Mass Effect and Dragon Age. …


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Artist Imagines What A Zelda: Ocarina Of Time Movie Trailer From Studio Ghibli Might Look Like

Back in 2015, artist Matt Vince put together a series faux movie posters imagining a Studio Ghibli take on The Legend of Zelda. Vince took things a step forward recently, by creating a trailer for his Ghibli Zelda movie.

You can check out the video below which marries Vince's art with a solemn, piano rendition of some familiar Zelda music. Its resemblance to a Ghibil movie, (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke) really is uncanny. Zelda is a franchise I don't know that I ever actually want to see adapted into a film, but if it were to be done, I think I would be happy if it looked like this.

For more from Vince, you can check out his Tumblr page here.

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[Source: matt vince on YouTube, @MattVinnie, Matt Vince on Tumblr]

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World Of Warcraft’s Rob Pardo Opening New Game Development Studio

Rob Pardo, formerly lead designer on World of Warcraft as well as the former Chief Creative Officer of Blizzard Entertainment, has revealed that he's starting a new game development studio called Bonfire Studios.

Pardo, now serving as CEO of Bonfire, wrote up a post to explain the philosophy behind the studio as well as the reason behind its name:

One of the most rewarding parts of creating any game, be it a D&D campaign or a massive persistent world, is the connection you have to the players themselves. You get to see the player’s reactions, you get to respond to them and make their experience better over time. It’s like the warmth of friends around a bonfire, sharing stories.

And that’s why we named our studio BONFIRE. The bonfire is a metaphor for the experiences we wish to create. We want friends to connect through our games and share amazing experiences, tell the stories, and come closer together.

Bonfire Studios has partnered with Riot Games and Andreessen Horowitz and has secured $ 25 million in investments. No games have been announced at this time and the company has no positions listed but is taking resumes here.

 

Our Take
World of Warcraft is one of the biggest, most important video games ever made so we're curious to see what Pardo does with his new studio and all the talent that will join as well. 

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