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Wizards of the Coast forms game studio Skeleton Key for triple-A project

The nascent studio is aiming to deliver "unique stories," beginning with its triple-A debut.

Justin Carter

July 26, 2022

2 Min Read
The Skeleton Key logo

Wizards of the Coast, the role-playing game company behind Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, has opened a new game studio called Skeleton Key. 

The Austin-based studio will be overseen by former BioWare Austin boss Christian Dailey, who'll serve as studio head. Its first game has been described as a "triple-A" project, although it's unclear what platforms or release window the studio is targeting. On its website, the studio states it wants to create titles that use "immersive gameplay" to tell "unique stories."

"[I'm] excited to be starting this new adventure with the company that has created so many of my favorite toys and games growing up," said Dailey, who'll also be taking on the role of vice president at Wizards of the Coast, in a press release. "We are looking forward to growing our studio team with more talented creators who share our passion." 

Dailey served as the studio head for BioWare Austin before leaving the studio in March this year. When Anthem was attempting a rework before being ultimately canceled, he was at the head of that soft reboot before becoming the executive producer on Dragon Age: Dreadwolf. 

Skeleton Key is Wizards' sixth video game studio. The publisher's most recent video game was 2021's Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance by subsidiary Tuque Games. 

More industry veterans are forming their own studios 

2022 has seen several game industry veterans open their own independent studios. Last week, former Naughty Dog co-director Bruce Straley opened up Wildflower Interactive. Like Skelton Key, Wildflower's mission statement is to make unique games and maintain a positive, safe workplace culture. 

In March, Avalanche Studios co-founders Linus and Viktor Blomberg established a new studio of their own, Elemental Games. Its mission statement is more direct: creating high-quality open world experiences with evolved, systemic gameplay. "Welcome to an inclusive artform free from romanticisation of violence and negative norms," reads its website. "Welcome to titles owned by experiences, not by financial goals. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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