Two former Wargaming executives just launched a new independent studio comprised of veterans from Riot Games, Id Software, Blizzard Entertainment, and more.
Ganymede Games was co-founded by Jerry Prochazka and Lynn Stetson. Prochazka was previously head of third party publishing at Wargaming, while Stetson was head of global user experience and product experience there. They chose Las Cruces, New Mexico for their new studio’s headquarters because of the state’s Refundable Film Production Tax Credit, which refunds 25% of most expenses associated with producing movies, TV shows, or video games. It’s been used to produce major motion pictures like “No Country for Old Men,” “Terminator: Judgement Day,” and “The Avengers.” Ganymede is the first game development studio to take advantage of the tax credit.
“It’s a good time to create new experiences because players are asking for that,” said Prochazka. “We want to make games that are easy to get into, and easy to get out of. We have busy lives, so we want short gaming sessions while still having lots of fun.”
“A lot of big companies have investor pressure to generate predictable revenue. That pressure narrows their focus to continue making known games and take less risk,” he added. “It’s a good time to go out on your own and provide new experiences, and that’s what we want to do.”
In addition to the tax credit, Prochazka said Las Cruces offers international reach when it comes to recruiting new talent.
“The other unique opportunity we have is that Mexican nationals so close allows us to expand our talent funnel, and that’s proven to be good, too. There are a lot of good networks in El Paso and Juarez,” he said. “We visited NMSU (New Mexico State University), New Mexico Tech, the Dona Ana Community College, and we expect to recruit out of these New Mexico colleges.”
New Mexico economic development secretary Alicia Keyes said Ganymede will create up to 51 new jobs over the next five years. The studio also plans to invest more than $1.3 million in building and infrastructure improvements to its headquarters. New Mexico will invest up to $250,000, while the City of Las Cruces will invest up to $100,000.