CI Games has announced the opening of Hexworks, a game development studio based in Barcelona and Bucharest.
The Barcelona team opened doors at the beginning of March, with Bucharest following a few weeks later. Collectively, the veteran developers have been hard at work on their debut title, Lords of the Fallen 2. The upcoming fantasy action-RPG is targeted for next gen consoles and PC.
“It’s been a long time since we started talking about Lords of the Fallen 2 and trying different ideas. I am very excited for us to be able to announce the new studio that has been already at work for the last half of the year and made significant progress,” said CI Games CEO Marek Tyminski. “Initially we decided to keep that quiet as we didn’t want to bring that to public eyes before we would build the core team and before we would all agree on the details of the first project and move forward with our vision. So, this is the time to officially say we are here and we’re here to stay.”
Creative Director Cezar Virtosu and Executive Producer Saul Gason are leading a team of around 25 people, including staff with prior AAA game development experience. However, the studio is embracing more of an indie approach to development, focusing on the high-quality craftsmanship of role-playing games.
“As a dedicated gamer myself, I can feel when developers are passionate about the games they make,” said Executive Producer Saul Gascon. “And this is what our studio is all about: creating games we love to play ourselves. We’ve gathered a kickass team of senior developers with a deep fascination for mature fantasy games. The path has been intense, especially with the global lockdown situation, but working shoulder-to-shoulder with Marek and Cezar, we’ve gathered a great team mostly from our networks. I can’t wait to share more information on the studio, and show what we are working on!”
Inspired by community feedback for the first game, Lords of the Fallen 2 is a shift from the original to a dark fantasy. The sequel will also be more loyal to the challenging combat experience that the Soulsborne communities enjoy.
“For many months now, the three of us worked, defining and scoping the project, to find the right DNA that would grant us a competitive edge and still remain in the realm of feasibility,” said Hexworks Creative Director Cezar Virtosu. “It is challenging to develop combat focused games remotely, but this is offset by the ease of contacting and working with massive Soulsborne fans scattered around the world. It is an intoxicating mix of indie production and fanwork, since we are not a big production block and we all come from the genre’s trenches. Thus, regardless of nationality, we are speaking the same game language. We are enthusiastic about our mission and we are aiming to deliver a creatively charged gameplay experience within the genre’s framework.”
The establishment of Hexworks sends ripples across CI Games proper, allowing the group to focus more on the development of original IPs. The new initiative is spurred by 5.7 million Euros that CI Games raised from investors.
“I am very pleased with the strong interest from the investors,” Tyminski said. “This is a very good news for CI Games as a developer with studios in several locations in Europe.”
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