A group of video game developers laid off in Baltimore earlier this year only to be hired by Epic Games now has a formal identity as part of the fast-growing Cary firm.
On Thursday, Epic formally launched its Impossible Studios – a name that dates back to an Epic executive’s remark about how the two groups came together.
The studio will be based in Maryland and is tasked with development of its next “Infinity Blade” game for Mac mobile iOS devices.
The new operation is built around a group of employees from Big Huge Games. They was part of former Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios. The studio recently created the action role-playing game (RPG) Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.
Sean Dunn will serve as director of the studio and oversee creation of “Infinity Blade: Dungeons.” Epic’s Utah-based group Chair Entertainment, which developed the original Infinity Blade title and its sequel, also is involved in the new game as are developers in Cary.
“We were so glad we could help keep this great team together, and we’re lucky to have them,” said Epic Games President Dr. Michael Capps. “At the time, I said that finding a full team of superstars was ‘impossible’ and apparently the name stuck! Pairing the imagination and experience of Impossible with Epic’s technology, IP and resources makes for a business greater than the sum of its parts.”
The studio name actually picks up off a comment made by Capps when the initial news about a deal between Epic and Big Huge Games broke.
“On Wednesday, the ex-Big Huge Games leadership team contacted us,” Capps wrote on the Epic website. “They wanted to start a new company and keep together some of the key talent displaced by the layoff, and hoped that they could use an Epic IP as a starting point for a new game. We loved that they all wanted to keep working together, but it was pretty clear they’d have trouble building a demo and securing funding before their personal savings ran out.”
Capps called it a life coincidence that just that morning Epic’s directors had discussed how they’d love to build even more successful projects with its growing team, but that they’d need a dramatic infusion of top talent to do so.
“So now we’re planning to start an impossible studio in Baltimore,” Capps said.
The Impossible team is credited with work on a number of Big Huge Games titles such as “Rise of Nations” strategy games, “Catan” for Xbox LIVE Arcade, “Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties” for PC, and “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning” for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.
“Epic Games has truly embraced this stellar collection of developers who were displaced by the closing of Big Huge Games,” Dunn said in a statement. “They have looked after us with complete care, giving us all the tools and resources we need to make a lot of gamers happy.”
Epic also has operations in Poland, South Korea and Japan.