Armature Opened by Metroid Prime Alumni

By Blake Ellison, Sep 15, 2008 3:58pm PDT Austin, Texas, is home to one more game studio this week, as three of the biggest names from Metroid Prime developer Retro Studios have announced the opening of their studio, Armature.

Mark Pacini, Todd Keller and Jack Mathews, respectively the former Game Director, Art Director and Principal Technology Engineer of the Metroid Prime series, had left Retro Studios in April. Today the team also announced an exclusive publishing deal with Electronic Arts--but the deal is a bit unconventional.

Speaking to Kotaku, Pacini revealed that Armature will join EA's Blueprint Division. Rather than make ordinary studio games, Armature will spend its time developing prototypes. Once a prototype is chosen for full-fledged development, that work will be moved to another studio while Armature's small staff remains on board as directors.

"EA approached us with this really interesting business model of creating a small studio that is only comprised of industry veterans," Pacini said. "The goal is to create new IP [intellectual property] with a very, very small team and to produce a game without having to grow that team."

"We are interested to see how it goes past the prototype stage," he continued. "Our studio is the grand experiment. It's kind of a really different take on how to make these larger scale games."

Armature is now hiring.

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  • already been done! this is what trauma studios/DICE NY was for BF2 and other games. we designed the core systems, ideas, prototyped things. then handed it off to be finished at larger studios.

    i wondered if we were the only ones to do this within the EA heirarchy. we were kindof a big secret. this was happening 4-5 years ago. its possible other external EA groups have toyed around with this idea, but maybe it hasnt been made public before now.

    doesn't work though if you ever want to actually make a game or design original IP that you control. will EA actually let them 'direct' things once it has left the prototype phase like this article suggests? i'm skeptical, but who knows right?