"Kaos and THQ Digital suffers from the twists and turns of the games biz. You are more than welcome to join the Avalanche Studios US family!" Avalanche Studios founder Christofer Sundberg teased on Twitter
yesterday. Today, there's a proper announcement of a new North American expansion for the Swedish-based Avalanche and it's located in ... New York City?
Yup, it's true! Just days after THQ closed its NYC-based Kaos Studios
– the publisher was never shy
about the prohibitive cost of operating a developer in one of the most expensive locations in the country – Avalanche has announced the expansion, to be headed by Activision and Atari veteran David Grijns and opened in the fall of this year. The studio is expected to hire "up to 50 new staff" in its first two years of operation, to work on "large-scale, online-enabled original IP for next-generation consoles, handhelds and PC."
That whole "original IP" bit makes it seem unlikely that Avalanche's long-rumored Mad Max project
will be developed in the NYC office. The press release says that the studio's "premiere project is an unannounced AAA title directed by Roland Lesterlin, former Creative Director at Mindspark Interactive, and targeted for release on next generation platforms in 2014." The NYC studio will include "senior staff" from Stockholm and will be recruiting other candidates from, say, recently closed AAA studios in the area.