Ex-Relic Devs Create New Studio (Updated)

By Chris Remo, May 29, 2007 2:58pm PDT In keeping with the times, a new cryptic game teaser website has launched at the address Exoriare.com. A brief statement sent out to the press this morning proclaims, "FROM THE PRODUCER OF THE MOST CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED REAL-TIME STRATEGY GAME OF ALL TIME* COMES A NEW FORCE IN GAMES DEVELOPMENT." A second asterisk clarifies that online review aggregate site Game Rankings is the metric being used to supply the superlative.

A quick check on Game Rankings reveals that Relic Entertainment's Company of Heroes holds the distinction of being the top-rated strategy game, implying that the producer in question is John Johnson. Doing a domain registration check on Exoriare.com confirms Johnson as a contact, along with Company of Heroes lead programmer Drew Dunlop. Johnson and Dunlop recently left Relic, and have likely formed a new studio. Public relations reps declined to confirm Shacknews' speculations on the matter, instead pointing again to Exoriare.com

Exoriare.com itself is password protected. The site can be entered by entring "QUO," the highlighted letters on the front page, into the text field. Inside are latitude and longitude derived from the visitor's IP address (thanks SenorSpine!) as well as what appears to be a visitor counter with an upper limit of 112,112. Upon reaching that threshold, more information may be revealed.

Update: Internet Matlocks over at the Relicnews forums have turned up two additional domains, smokinggungames.com and smokingguninc.com, both of which are registered with the same contact information as Exoriare.com and whose registration information includes the word "Exoriare." Both pages are currently blank, but may suggest the studio's name is Smoking Gun Games. Shacknews' further investigation reveals that "Smoking Gun Games, Inc." was registered as a corporation in Ontario, Canada. The domains were registered in British Columbia, Canada.

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