Three key veterans of influential PC game company MicroProse have founded developer Thriller New Media, with the intention of "fusing online military games with social networking" within 18 months.
Last year, MicroProse co-founder Bill Stealey, along with former studio colleages Fred Schmidt and Jim Bull, announced Austin, Texas-based Thriller Publishing and its stated aim of working with bestselling military- and espionage-themed authors to develop new game franchises.
While the espionage and military themes remain, the company now says its collaborations with novelists are longer term, and the company is focusing on online shooter projects in the nearer future.
"Thriller Publishing will continue the strategic work we’ve begun over this past year to purposefully leverage original new characters and storylines across all popular entertainment media – books, games and film – with the potential for sequels and sustainable series," said Stealey. "However, while laying this groundwork for Thriller, we also have identified significant opportunity with some other exciting related game experiences in the online multiplayer and MMOG space that we can capitalize on right away and bring to our network
The company described its area of focus as one with strong success potential -- combining "the largest video game genres," action and shooter games, with "the fastest growing segment...of the video game industry," MMOs. It also has particular resonance to the former MicroProse crew, which built up a great deal of experience in the 80s and 90s working on military-themed titles.
Said Schmidt of the company's development plans, "We have a number of great game products under evaluation, some already under option agreements, and are looking for more. At the same time, we are developing our own social networking platform through which all Thriller content, and much more, will be presented."
The company expects to make further announcements later in 2009.