As the fallout from Blizzard Entertainment's merging of its North studio into the company's headquarters studio continues to settle, three former Blizzard North development staff have established a new studio called Hyboreal Games. Located in San Carlos, California, Hyboreal has been founded by former senior game designer Eric Sexton, developer and artist Michio Okamura, who was responsible for design on the original Diablo game, and lead programmer Steven Woo, who co-ordinated the international localisation for Diablo II.
The studio intends to focus its attention on the PC market, promising a reliance on game play over technology, art and story. The first project, dubbed 'Starfall', is currently in development - although no further details on the game have been released so far. Hyboreal intends to reduce its development costs by outsourcing various aspects of the development process to "a reliable partner who we had a previous development relationship."
The establishment of Hyboreal marks the latest in a string of new independent studios emerging from the talent behind Blizzard Entertainment's critically and commercially acclaimed software titles. Former Diablo producer Bill Roper, together with a number of senior Blizzard staff, established Flagship Studios in 2003. A number of additional studios have also been established by ex-Blizzard talent, including Castaway Entertainment, Red5 Studios and Arena.net, the team behind NCsoft's hugely successful Guild Wars MMORPG.
News source: gamesindustry.biz
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The neowin 5 theme is not completed yet, due to the fact that staff have day jobs and the recent thanksgiving holiday halted development there temporarily, its next on the list. The most important thing is to have a working situation we can move to and I'm confident the updates will be sufficient while we finish up the new design on the new servers.