ProbablyMonsters has opened an unnamed next-gen studio led by a group of former Borderlands and Torchlight developers. The studio, whose name is still being kept under wraps, is currently working on a next-gen co-op RPG.
Although we don't know the mystery studio's moniker, we do know it's being led by four veterans of the genre including Runic Games co-founders John Dunbar and Marsh Lefler, former Borderlands lead level designer and Runic studio head Patrick Blank, and former Runic CEO Allen Fong.
All four helped bring the Torchlight franchise to life, and will now work on an all-new RPG with the help of ProbablyMonsters.
ProbablyMonsters chief exec Harold Ryan, who founded the multi-studio game company in 2019 with the remit of creating triple-A titles within a non-traditional business structure, explained its new acquisition is still in the incubation phase.
"A major component of exiting this phase is finalizing a go-to-market plan where we’ll build the projected team final size," he said. "Our first priority is building a team and establishing a healthy culture while being mindful of the game the team wants to build. We focus on the people first, and we have a timeline and budget to establish the team and culture."
Outlining how the deal came about, Ryan said it became clear after a few early conversations that the Runic quartet could become the beating heart of a new "people-first" studio.
"I’ve known Allen Wong for years, and we’ve always mutually shared information and ideas. Through Allen, I got to know the other leaders, John Dunbar, Marsh Lefler, and Patrick Blank, and I knew the four of them would fit in perfectly at ProbablyMonsters," he continued. "Eventually, it came to the point where it was the right time for the leadership team to come join ProbablyMonsters so we could form a studio around them.
"Not only do the four leaders have a passion for crafting original co-op RPG games, they’re people-first developers who have a decade of collaborating on successful original RPG franchises. With ProbablyMonsters resources and support behind them, I’m confident they can fulfill their vision of creating outstanding next-gen co-op RPG games."
Alongside the acquisition, ProbablyMonsters also revealed it is moving to a new, larger home in Bellevue, Washington. Its new 76,000 square foot headquarters will support the ProbablyMonsters team and its entire family of studios, which also includes Cauldron Studios and Firewalk Studios, while providing plenty of room for expansion.