Vigil Games survives Crytek, forms new studio, considers more Darksiders
Vigil Games may have died in the husk of THQ, a victim of a catastrophic video game industry implosion that scattered developers, studios and game franchises across the globe, but the spirit of the studio behind Darksiders, that core team of creators, lived on as Crytek USA.
That is, until three weeks ago, when Vigil founder and Crytek USA head David Adams had an epiphany of sorts and abruptly quit the company, taking his core studio team with him to form another independent studio: Gunfire Games.
"I decided and resigned that same day," Adams said.
While the decision to leave Crytek 18 months after joining the company was in part spurred by the publisher's money issues, said Adams, that wasn't the entire reason.
"Forming another independent studio was something that I thought about because of what was going on," he said. "It got to the point where people were starting to leave."
And it was those people, many of whom had worked as a team through three companies, who mattered most to Adams.
"It really was the team," he said. "When you make a game, one of the most important elements of that is the people you work with. You could get 12 of the best developers in the world and put them into a room and they may not make a good game."
But years of working together had turned Vigil into a core group of developers who could and did survive the death of not just their independent studio, but the closure of THQ and now, Adams hopes, the shake-ups at Crytek.
Gunfire Games, said studio director Matt Guzenda, is just getting off the ground with a handful of people.
"We have seven people, all of the leads at Crytek USA," he said. "We're still working on the next round of guys coming around."
And he's not yet sure how many of the team they'll be able to save. Crytek USA was once 45 people strong, but had slimmed down to a couple of dozen by the time Guzenda and Adams left.