Many of the simulation veterans from Microsoft's shuttered Aces Studio have a new home in Seattle-based Cascade Game Foundry
, which unveiled itself today with a promise to return to the genre.
Founded by former Aces tops Rick Selby as creative director and Kathie Flood as managing director, the new studio aims to "address the significant hole in the simulation market left by Microsoft’s recent departure," and establish a leadership position for itself in graphics, web and simulation tech.
"The beauty of starting a new studio is that we get to reconsider all our preconceived notions," says Selby, a former Lead Product Designer at Microsoft. "Our previous efforts focused on building traditional simulation titles. However, now we get to redefine what a simulation game can be."
While continuing to satisfy sim fans, Selby says Cascade Game Foundry also hopes to invite new audiences to a genre traditionally considered more hardcore: "The hardcore simulation fan is the critical foundation, but why stop there? We want to deliver unique experiences that appeal to diverse audiences around the world."
Along with Selby and Flood, the new studio team is comprised of other Aces vets and other industry personnel. The studio says it's already working on the design and demo of its first project.
"We see this as a wonderful opportunity to reinvigorate the simulation market with a quantum step forward and our products will convey that sense of passion, fun and excitement that we have always had for the genre," says Flood.
Microsoft closed Flight Simulator creator Aces
at the beginning of this year, as part of a wider swath of job cuts. Its most recent project, Flight Simulator X
, was released in 2006 and said to have been a success, with an expansion in 2007.