Naughty Dog is well-renowned for its previous work on the Crash Bandicoot series before being snapped up by Sony and moving onto games such as the immensely popular Jak and Daxter, as well as the recent PlayStation 3 action game, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. However, over the years several members of the illustrious team have left. One key team player set up his own company, Ready at Dawn, which is working on the port of Okami on Wii, whilst some others have now formed a group called ‘Steel Penny Games’.
Steel Penny Games is an independent Austin, Texas-based game developer, that has just announced that is has been accepted into the Nintendo WiiWare developer stable, and is currently extremely busy working on a brand new, original Intellectual Property title that is set to be released sometime during the middle of 2008. Steel Penny Games states that the upcoming title blends a challenging puzzle game with dramatic fantasy environments and appealing characters for an exceptionally satisfying experience. Other details about the upcoming product, though, are still not available at this time.
The company, organised in early 2007 by former Naughty Dog veterans Jason Hughes and Andrew Gilmour, joins the ranks of studios initially focused on digital distribution. Steel Penny Games president Jason Hughes has gone on record to describe their strategy as “the modern equivalent of the garage method for an independent to gain a foothold in the industry - a unique opportunity WiiWare presents that we appreciate.” At Naughty Dog, Hughes was a senior graphics tools engineer, and Gilmour was a senior background artist.
The team at Steel Penny Games has apparently been spending the last year of its existence building a proprietary engine geared toward the Wii platform’s capabilities, and creating a new intellectual property to span a series of games, and given their background, Wii owners could be in for something very special! Hughes elaborated, “I am impressed with the egalitarian approach Nintendo has taken toward WiiWare developers. It allows the risk burden to shift back onto the creative developers.”
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