Interview: Chris Osborn, former Gaijin Games developer, on forming Tracer

By Ozzie Mejia, Apr 15, 2011 3:00pm PDT

The indie gaming community was taken by surprise in late February when Chris Osborn announced that he was leaving Gaijin Games, creators of the BIT.TRIP series, to pursue his own endeavor. That endeavor is Tracer, a new studio that Osborn is working diligently to get off the ground.

Tracer’s first official game is still wrapped in secrecy, with the only known detail being that it is targeted for a Fall 2011 release date. However, Tracer's website sums up the studio's mission in four simple words: "indie games future music."

Shacknews' sister-site, Indie Games Channel was fortunate enough to speak with Tracer's founder, Chris Osborn, on the studio’s progress, mission, and upcoming first release. Along the way, Osborn also discussed his ongoing relationship with his friends at Gaijin, the adjustment to going solo, and his past at Eidos.

In regards to Tracer’s goals, Osborn talks about the close relationship between games and music. The music genre has seen its struggles in the past year, with Rock Band's sales numbers falling, Guitar Hero being put on hiatus, and new titles like Power Gig: Rise of the SixString and Rock of the Dead, failing to resonate with audiences. Osborn says that this isn't a sign that the music genre is failing. "People are saying the music game is dead," says Osborn. "I think it's just stuck on repeat."

Osborn also talks about the diversity of music worldwide and its ongoing connection with everyday life. "Thanks to the hyper-connected nature of this era, this stuff is transcending the usual boundaries and crossing over into live visuals, fashion, and art. Tracer's mission is to bring games into this intoxicating cultural mix."

What can people expect from Tracer's first game? Osborn was intentionally vague on this subject, partially because he's still sorting through potential ideas. However, he does have a target for Tracer's first release. "The plan is to get a decent product out by the Fall on PC/Mac, with iOS following after that." Osborn also offers a hint as to what people should expect, saying, "if you dig the BIT.TRIP games, you'll feel right at home with Tracer's work."

For the full interview, head over to Indie Games Channel.

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