April 22, 2024

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Star Wars: Jedi Director Announces New Studio to Create AAA Narrative-Driven Single-player Action-Adventure Game

Star Wars: Jedi Director Announces New Studio to Create AAA Narrative-Driven Single-player Action-Adventure Game

Stig Asmussen, game director for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, as well as God of War 3, announced the new studio he had founded next. Leaving Respawn and EA last year. Dubbed Giant Skull, his new team aims to create a new third-person action adventure game based on AAA narrative.

“I can't stress enough that mystery and intrigue are a huge part of what we do,” he told me as we discussed the goals of his new studio. “We want our players to have a certain degree of autonomy and ownership in the game as they play. We want to make a game that has momentum and that you want to keep playing. And we respect our players. We want to create real, authentic worlds that don't feel random; they feel like there's a rich history. And [that] There is thought behind them.”

The logo for Stig Asmussen's new game development studio, Giant Skull.

But why would he leave Respawn, when he had just created two hugely successful Star Wars games (with a third… ongoing in his absence despite major layoffs at EA) which were themselves AAA narrative-driven third-person action-adventure games? “Honestly, it wasn't the thing I was looking for,” he explained. “I was very happy at Respawn. I love the team, I love the studio, EA has been great. It's been more fair, I've had a really interesting opportunity. It started like a little kernel in my mind: 'Wow, what will it be like when I start my own studio?' “…It was an incredibly attractive thing.”

Giant Skull is based in the Los Angeles area and currently employs about 30 people — many of whom are Star Wars Jedi and Fortnite veterans — though how and where its developers work will be entirely up to them on an individual basis.

Giant Skull is based in the Los Angeles area and currently employs about 30 people — many of whom are Star Wars Jedi and Fortnite veterans — though how and where its developers work will be entirely up to them on an individual basis. “The main goal is to build an environment where people can come and collaborate and make something that can be shipped,” he said. “It's up to the individual. We'll support whatever you need. We can deal with people on an individual basis. If you want to work from home all the time in another part of the world, that's totally fine. We've learned how to make that process work at a really high level.” [on Jedi Survivor]. If you want to come into the office every day, we have great space in a great location. If you want to come in [some days each week] For hybrids, it's up to you. We do not care. The most important thing is that you have all the tools you need to get the job done.”

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As for whether or not Giant Skull will remain completely independent, or whether it might collaborate with a first-party platform holder or another major publisher to bring its game to the world, that has not yet been determined, Asmussen said. “We have secured significant funding. This is enough to support our vision, but at the same time we will explore partnership opportunities with global publishers when the time comes.

I asked Asmussen, given that he just stepped away from working for one of the biggest brands in the world on a licensed game, if that meant we should expect the first Giant Skull game to be a new original IP. He left the door open to any possibility: “I don't rule anything out,” he said. “We have a very clear vision for the type of game we're going to make, which is to play to my strengths… a single-player-focused, turn-based third-person action adventure that's seamlessly woven into a compelling story. Those are the core pillars of our criteria. If there's “An opportunity…we have a lot of experience in licensed games obviously. But it's very compelling to create an original IP as well. We can bend in either direction.”

Check out the studio Unique site To learn what else you can learn (hint: type “culture” without the quotes at a DOS style command prompt).

Ryan McCaffrey is IGN's executive previews editor and host of IGN's two weekly Xbox shows, Podcast is openin addition to a monthly interview program (-ish), IGN Unfiltered. He's a North Jersey guy, so it's “Taylor's pork,” not “pork roll.” Discuss it with him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan.

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