Garrett Fuller, Industry Relations
For those who do not know yet, 38 Studios is a company that you will
hear plenty about in the near future. Founded by Curt Schilling along
with R.A. Salvatore and Todd McFarlane bringing up the big guns, 38
Studios is poised for a huge impact on the MMO market in the coming
years. However, those three are not the only story. The team that they
have assembled is really a who’s who of MMO and game
developers alike. We got a chance to sit down with some of that team at
the New York ComiCon. Scott Cuthbertson, Jeff Murchie, Steve Danuser,
and Rich Gallup joined us to give a brief overview of where 38 Studios
is as a company and where the game they are developing is going.
38 Studios Logo
The first words from Scott were that the game is “right on
track.” The creative group continues to push forward with the
conceptual phase and bring in the big ideas. This is all working in
conjunction with the art team who are working very hard on the style
and design of the game world. Jeff was quick to point out that working
with Todd McFarlane on the art style is incredibly rewarding and gives
the team great energy. The team said that these early stages of
building the game and the world are really coming together.
On the technical side, Scott explained that the company has licensed
the Unreal Engine and the Big World Engine to build the MMO. These two
engines seem to be the best right now at building an online world and
allow the game designers the most options in creating their game space.
In working with the tech side, the company continues to build up a
library of ideas that will work in the game world. Bringing these ideas
together and implementing them into the actually game is a challenge
that the team is ready to meet.
Jeff Murchie spoke about the art style of the game and explained that
it is not about reproducing Spawn
or following the style of any MMOs that have come before it. The team
has weekly meetings with Todd McFarlane to discuss everything from
environments, character design, and visual effects. The team has set
very high goals stylistically and hopes to achieve a new standard in
artwork and design with the game and products.
Steve and Scott both explained that 38 Studios is about a lot more than
just putting games into boxes and on the shelf. They real want to
create a broad entertainment experience for players. They want to build
the social experience of the game and take it beyond just the computer
screen. With R.A. Salvatore and Todd McFarlane on board it would be no
surprise to see toys, comics, and novels about the world and its
Rich Gallup explained that they really want to give something to the
community that surrounds this game and brings it to the next level. The
most important thing they want is for players to be the hero. They are
planning some iconic NPCs in the game, but really they are only there
as an anchor for players to grow and explore the world they live in.
38 Studios remains a very professional company. They have plans to take
care of their developers and team so that they stay in the studio long
into the future. Sadly, many game studios lay off their team once the
game is launched, 38 Studios seems to be a place where the team will
stay together for a very long time. Scott also explained Curt
Schilling’s commitment to the team he is putting together. He
makes sure the creators and developers are happy and work in a great
environment. It is great to see a studio remain so professional with
So the big question is when will we hear about the game? 2010 is the
target date that 38 Studios is looking at as a possible launch.
However, like all MMOs this is by no means set in stone. Scott
explained that the quality of the game comes first and they want to
make sure they really put a great game out there for fans.
The best part is watching the team and company grow along with this
game. 38 Studios continues to hire very strong staff to put this game
together. The entire team really showed a passion for their project
while we were talking to them and it looks like we will see some great
things in the coming months. The passion behind 38 Studios is growing
and soon it will hit fans with what could be a huge MMO game and world
that we are all looking forward to explore.