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Improbable Opens First Internal Game Development Studios

Improbable, the company behind the SpatialOS cloud platform for multiplayer games, is gearing up to develop its own online titles, it announced on its website on Friday.

Former BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn is leading development in Edmonton, while former “Call of Duty” producer John Wasilczyk will head a new studio in London.

“I was interested in making a game using SpatialOS from the very first time I spoke to Improbable,” said Flynn, who’s now general manager of Improbable Games Edmonton. “Building tools and content has been a great way for our Edmonton team to master SpatialOS, but a full game was always an opportunity myself and others had in mind as the Edmonton studio took shape. Now, after a lot of great hires and great progress, we’re going to focus on creating that game using Unreal Engine 4 and building on SpatialOS’ next-generation online games platform.”

Improbable’s first untitled project is in development at the Edmonton studio, which has about 50 staff and is continuing to grow. Meanwhile, the London studio is building a team from current Improbable employees and new hires. The company said it’s also interested in founding or growing other studios and supporting remote teams in the future.

“As our network of partners has grown we’ve come to work with an incredible range of studios and projects. We see our internal studios as a way to further support these partners by pushing technical and creative boundaries and then sharing those learnings with our developer community,” said Improbable CEO and co-founder Herman Narula.

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Improbable’s announcement comes shortly after an ugly public battle between it and game engine maker Unity Technologies. Unity terminated its relationship with the company after it reportedly violated its terms of service and a negotiation between the two failed. The updated terms disallowed services like SpatialOS from functioning with the Unity game engine, putting MMOs that use the cloud platform at risk. Facing public backlash, Unity reinstated Improbable’s license and amended its ToS again.

During this time, Improbable announced it was teaming up with rival game engine maker Epic Games to launch a joint fund assisting developers affected by Unity’s changed terms of service. It also recently announced it’s teaming up with German game studio Crytek on an unannounced AAA project.

Improbable will talk more about its game development plans during GDC 2019, which takes place Mar. 18-22 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. It will also host two panels where it will discuss how developers can leverage SpatialOS to create the next generation of multiplayer titles.

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