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Iron Galaxy interview: Leadership changes, new IP, and DeeJ

In the wake of Wednesday morning's announcements from Iron Galaxy, Shacknews gets together with Adam Boyes, Chelsea Blasko, and David 'DeeJ' Dague to talk about the studio's upcoming new IP.


On Wednesday morning, Iron Galaxy Studios surprised the gaming world, especially those following the Destiny end of it, by announcing that they had hired former Bungie Communications Director David 'DeeJ' Dague as the company's new Head of Communications. Announced alongside COO Chelsea Blasko's promotion to co-CEO, Iron Galaxy is cementing its leadership foundation for years to come as they prepare to work on a brand new IP for PC and consoles.

What do these moves mean for Iron Galaxy? What exactly is the team working on? How have they managed to grow in spite of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic? Shacknews had these questions and many more and we were fortunate enough to speak with Iron Galaxy's co-CEOs, Adam Boyes and Chelsea Blasko, as well as new Head of Communications David 'DeeJ' Dague about this morning's announcements.

"David and I have known each other for quite some time," Boyes told Shacknews. "I was at PlayStation when we were able to partner with the team at Bungie to announce and reveal Destiny. So David and I met very, very early on and we did a lot of events together and we just sort of had a nice rapport, chatted back and forth, and it wasn't until I joined Iron Galaxy that I realized David is a Chicago native. So he came out to visit last year and we started chatting about it. David, I think we had a dinner together and then we started weaving some tales about who we are as a company and I think that was when I started popping the question of 'What do you think of the company?' and 'What have you heard?' and 'What are your future plans?'"

"I was really surprised to hear this story," Dague added. "I was curious when Adam left PlayStation to go to Iron Galaxy. I imagine some people who have followed my work are curious where I'm gonna end up. I was wondering what it was about Iron Galaxy that made him want to work there and the story he told me about this incredibly talented group of developers, who partner with most of the best studios in this industry and then also had their sights set on creating their own games, breaking new ground and building communities in their own creations. That's really where I thrive. That's the type of work that I love to do, where players are discovering a game for the first time together and then working with each other to kind of define what that community's culture will be. I've had a lot of great experiences doing that as just a player who wanted to have good people on my friends list and then also as a person who worked in this industry. So the opportunity to join Iron Galaxy and to do those things was extremely compelling to me."

What else has Boyes, Blasko, and Dague excited? It's Iron Galaxy's next project, which is currently wrapped in mystery. The one major known element, however, is that it will be a new original IP.

"We always have had aspirations," Boyes added. "If we go back to when we took over Killer Instinct, worked on that for many, many years, we get to, with Season 2 and Season 3, play within a rule set that was established by other people. But if we look at Divekick, a fun little two-button fighting game that came out and was sort of the indie darling at PAX some years ago. That was our own IP. We think about Wreckateer, which is this fun sort of interactive game we made for Kinect. We've always had aspirations to build some creative outlets and some creative products. So when we look at our history of our company, what are we fantastic at, right? The stuff that we really like to build is multiplayer worlds. We love melee, right? All these things culminated and it was finally time to strike out, build our own IP, and go down the road and play it. So now we're playtesting it all the time. We're very excited to give people a sliver of what we're working on, but man, it's been a blast for the team to be able to have that new creative outlet."

We had plenty to chat about with the Iron Galaxy crew. We talked about Blasko's promotion, Iron Galaxy's future, Iron Galaxy's past (as both a maker of ports and architect of modern Killer Instinct), thriving in the time of COVID-19, and what it means to Dague to leave Bungie behind. It's a fascinating interview and you can watch the whole thing embedded above. For more interviews like this, be sure to check out Shacknews and GamerHub.TV on YouTube. And don't forget to subscribe to Mercury for the optimal Shacknews experience.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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