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5th Cell Delays Hybrid, Avoids The 'Crunch'

Scribblenauts house 5th Cell on Thursday said its next title, the Xbox Live Arcade shooter Hybrid will be delayed into next year, partly due to a "strong policy against crunch," the studio told Gamasutra.

Kris Graft, Contributor

May 12, 2011

1 Min Read

Scribblenauts studio 5th Cell on Thursday said it would delay the release of its upcoming Xbox Live Arcade shooter Hybrid from this year into next year. While that means that players will have to wait a bit longer for the game, the decision was partially based on a studio culture that takes into account quality of life of 5th Cell employees, according the studio's head. "The critical response was overwhelmingly positive," said Jeremiah Slaczka, CEO and creative director of independently-owned 5th Cell in an email to Gamasutra. "We just want to make the best game possible; we felt if we released it this year it wouldn't meet that goal without crunching very hard to meet our content standards," he said, "and our studio is not interested in crunching at all. We have a pretty strong policy against crunch here. Since this game is self-funded, we can afford that luxury." On its surface, Hybrid looks somewhat like a standard online, third-person shooter. But the game implements a system that places more emphasis on the core shooting mechanic by disallowing totally free movement -- players must strategically move strictly from cover-to-cover. The game, with its gritty look and focus on the core gamer market, is a departure for Bellevue, WA-based 5th Cell, whose most recent games include innovative Nintendo DS titles Drawn to Life, Lock's Quest and the Scribblenauts series. Slaczka said in a press statement that Hybrid was "very well received this past GDC," but added, "with an additional year, we can take what we've learned and really drill down on our ideas to hopefully transform this game into something great."

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Kris Graft


Kris Graft is publisher at Game Developer.

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