10 up-and-coming devs you need to know about

Rocksteady Studios


They are:

A London-based studio born out of the ashes of the really quite legendary Argonaut (inventors of the SNES’ Super FX 3D chip, and co-developer of StarFox, 16-bit tech aficionados). Rocksteady’s first game was the innovative but slightly scrappy FPS Urban Chaos: Riot Response on the PS2 and Xbox, but in the three years since that the studio has made a serial-killer-insane jump in output quality, via a certain game based around a cape-flapping psycho vigilante.

They’ve already done:

As Rocksteady, UC:RR and Batman: Arkham Asylum. The Greek warrior-monickered company that spawned Rocksteady put out a staggering amount of stuff.

You should care about them because: 

Batman: Arkham Asylum. That’s all you need to know. That such a young studio can make a leap from the likes of Riot Response to a genuine, bona fide game-of-the-year contender in such a short time makes Rocksteady a very serious prospect from now on. Creatively, artistically and in terms of technical mastery, we’ve seen very few games over the last few years match what is achieved in Arkham Asylum, and to see it all realised with such confident self-assuredness has us drooling pure adrenalin with excitement over the studio’s next project.

Visceral Games


They are:

The renamed, rebranded, gored-up new phase of EA’s Redwood Shores studio, the longest-serving design team at the publisher. With a glorious history dating way back before EA’s period of rampant license-whoring, Redwood Shores created the likes of Road Rash and the Strike air combat series. As Visceral, it’s firmly rooted itself back into its hardcore action game origins. Using a lot of veins and entrails.

They’ve already done:

As Visceral, Dead SpaceDead Space: Extraction is on the way for the Wii, as is Dante’s Inferno for the 360, PS3 and PSP. As Redwood Shores, the CV goes back around 20 years.

You should care about them because:

All that talk of “the new EA” we heard a couple of years ago? It was actually referring to the old, non-crap EA, and these guys personify that idea.

Creative, well-designed, incredibly polished and deeply satisfying hardcore gaming is what Visceral is all about, and in no time at all its output has rivalled or even beaten the triple-A monsters that have arguably influenced it.

We all know that Dead Space is amazing (in fact one or two Radar editors will resolutely argue that it beats the crap out of Resident Evil 5), but with Dead Space: Extraction, Visceral seems to be making not only a visually-brilliant Wii game but also a worthwhile and long-overdue cinematic evolution of the on-rails shooter. And amongst those who’ve played it, there are even whispers that next year’s Dante’s Inferno could actually beat God of War III. Seriously. We’ve heard them.


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  • misfit119 - September 30, 2009 9:11 p.m.

    Dead Space blows anything that RE5 has to offer right the hell out of the water. Its atsmosphere is much more immersive, the gameplay feels much tighter, the hordes of enemies make the ability to move and shoot not a luxury but a necessity and it's overall one of the best games I"ve played in recent memory. However it's repetitive as hell and you spend a lot of time in samey looking areas, yes. But RE5 was just as repetitive even if the backgrounds changed. Plus Dead Space spared us any ridiculously stupid Gears of War inspired segments and replaced it with an annoying, but not quite as annoying, turret section. That said I'm actually looking forward to Dante's Inferno more than GoW3. GoW3 looks fantastic but so does DI. GoW3 looks to play almost exactly like the previous game, simply on a bigger scale. But both of them have crazy presentation and huge battles going on... I'll tip my hat to DI. At least that game has a protagonist who'se main motivation isn't "His boundless rage" but something more, ya know, interesting.
  • iluvmyDS - September 28, 2009 4:48 p.m.

    Love most of them already, especially Chair and Twisted Pixel. :D
  • TheHolyHandGrenade - September 28, 2009 12:03 a.m.

    agreeing with John117 that media molecole should have been on there. I loved (and still do) LittleBigPlanet. But nice artical anyways GR!
  • legory - September 27, 2009 5:01 p.m.

    I've known about Twisted Pixel far before 'Splosion Man. Which I can say I'm proud of.
  • John-117 - September 27, 2009 7:07 a.m.

    I think you probably missed the greatest up and coming development studio, Media Molecule. They're incredibly small but were still able to make the amazing LittleBigPlanet. I agree with pretty much all the studios mentioned but this list is missing its best entry.
  • Spybreak8 - September 27, 2009 5:04 a.m.

    Yea thx for the article, Twisted Pixel looks like a great little studio. As for me, I'm looking around, just graduated with Game Art & Design degree from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online! Level Designer for me so def looked at Visceral!
  • gmilf71 - September 27, 2009 4:14 a.m.

    Wait a minute, clover studios did okami.
  • Tomsta666 - September 27, 2009 1:44 a.m.

  • TheWebSwinger - September 26, 2009 10:03 p.m.

    This article encouraged me to take a look at that Comic Jumper game, and now I can't wait to play it! Another great one, GR. p.s. Dante's Inferno > GoW3? Come oooon.
  • lovinmyps3 - September 26, 2009 4:47 p.m.

    Let's hope at least a couple of these guys can join the ranks of Infinity Ward, Kojima Productions, and Rockstar!
  • GMAN2 - September 26, 2009 4:20 p.m.

    What about the people making Brink?
  • crumbdunky - September 26, 2009 4:08 p.m.

    Only "1 or 2 Radar editors" think DS hammers RE5? Are all the rest deaf, blind and dim? Fact is DS is twice the SP game that RE5 is and whether in co-op or "babysitting big bum" SP mode RE5 just isn't survival horror and certainly isn't a real Resi game. Dead Space is so much the kind of game RE5 should have been that it's really not amusing anymore-and the relative sales of the two games show what a sheep minded bunch we gamers have become when something new and amazing is overlooked because of a great name for a bunch of piffle from Capcom which derails one of the proudest franchise histories in console gaming. No justice whatsoever, imo.
  • caboose4400 - September 26, 2009 1:04 p.m.

    cra....cra.......crackdown 2?.......please excuse me while i go cry out in enjoyment for there IS a god
  • Diosjenin - September 26, 2009 11:17 a.m.

    Where the hell is Tale of Tales on this list?
  • Tommykrem - September 26, 2009 8:42 a.m.

    What about Tumbleweed studios? They are working on a game called Umami for PSN. It looks great, and they're way more up and coming than Black Rock Studios.
  • Pumbli - September 26, 2009 8:12 a.m.

    I was wondering... Shouldn't Media Molecule be on there? I mean it's not lke they've been around for a very long time and the few games they've released have been pretty good.
  • cart00n - September 25, 2009 8:22 p.m.

    As I keep myself aware of all things gamey, I knew of every dev on this list. Nice to have them all collected on one list, tho'... reCaptcha: the quavery
  • moonwalk_mafia - September 25, 2009 7:32 p.m.

    I was gonna flip a shit if Twisted Pixel was not mentioned here, but alas, you saved my shit from being flipped. TP is fantastic, and Splosion Man was one of the best and most addictive arcade games I played all summer. And the original songs they made for the game were hilarious! For the rest of my life, whenever I eat a donut that song will pop into my head
  • destroyerofall - September 25, 2009 6:21 p.m.

    I WANT to like Dante's Inferno... But the game is just so heavily saturated with unoriginality, I just have 2 turn away in disgust. Same feeling I get when I see Quantum Theory... Reminds me of when devs would just do a pallette-swap & call it a new character. I don't expect every game 2 break the mold, but COME ON!
  • Hurricrane - September 25, 2009 6:01 p.m.

    I LOVE all these devs, really glad you recognized Chair though, they have been amazing with only 3 games in the pocket

Showing 1-20 of 25 comments

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