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Undead Labs' Jeff Strain forms second distributed studio, Crop Circle Games

Crop Circle marks Strain's second studio opened under a distributed model, and his fourth studio overall.

Jeff Strain, founder of Undead Labs and co-founder of ArenaNet, has launched yet another studio. Crop Circle Games will be the second subsidiary for Prytania Media, a development firm he launched with Annie Strain that focuses on new properties. 

"It’s a genuine delight to be using my decades of successfully managing the business behind making games so that developers can focus on the creation of games," wrote Strain in a press release. 

Jessica Brunelle will serve as the studio director. Additional staff includes Doug Williams (creative director), Ocala Scott-Bellows (art director), Nick Mhley (design director), Josh Scherr (narrative director), and Braeden Shosa (tech director).

Crop Circle is backed by a $25 million investment round primarily led by Transcend Fund. The venture fund's previous track record has gone towards funding studios headed up by veterans, such as Ruckus Games from earlier this year. 

The Strains founded Prytania in 2021, with its first subsidiary studio being Possibility Space. Staff at that developer includes names such as Austin Walker (Friends at the Table podcast) and Jane Ng (Valve, Campo Santo). 

Similar to Possibility Space, Crop Circle will run on a distributed model wherein employees "can live and work wherever they are happiest." Per its website, the studio intends to "create compelling experiences, build immersive shared worlds, and connect with others through curiosity and adventure."

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