Avalanche opening New York studio

By Alice O'Connor, Jun 16, 2011 7:15am PDT

Swedish developer Avalanche Studios, best known for Just Cause 2, has announced that it plans to open a new 'AAA' dev studio in New York, New York this fall. Avalanche says the NY studio will "focus on the development of large-scale, online-enabled original IP for next-generation consoles, handhelds and PC."

The first game out of New York will be an announced AAA game for unspecified "next-generation platforms," whatever that means in this day in age. It's slated to launched in 2014.

The studio will be headed by former Activision and Atari executive David Grijns, built upon a "core team" of senior staff from Avalanche's Stockholm headquarters and supplemented with new recruits. Avalanche notes that it plans to hire 50 members of staff within the first two years.

"While most developers and publishers are focused on expanding (or contracting) their operations in over-crowded industry centers such as Los Angeles, San Francisco or Seattle, New York provides us with a diverse talent pool from which to create our next big console title," said Avalanche founder Christofer Sundberg in the announcement. "It doesn't hurt that it also happens to be the greatest city on earth."

In the meantime, Avalanche's next game will be twin-stick vehicular shooter Renegade Ops, which we played at E3. It's due out on Steam, Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network this fall.

Avalanche's news comes mere days after THQ announced that it was shutting down New York-based developer Kaos Studios for "strategic reasons," following a poor reception for its game Homefront. In the run-up to the closure, Kaos general manager David Votypka had noted that New York City was an expensive place to have a studio.

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