[intro-text size=”18px”]The games industry is one that’s in a constant state of flux – studios come and go all the time. At times, it can seem like a cutthroat place where it’s one wrong move and you’re out. To what extent that is true isn’t the point here – right now we’re focusing on the new studios that have sprung up recently that we think are worth keeping tabs on. Some of these studios have risen from the ashes of companies that have suffered bankruptcy or other falling-outs, whereas others are completely new to the game. Wherever they come from, they could be the future of games, and we are excited for what they have in store.[/intro-text]

Panache Digital Studios

Who are they?

PDS was co-founded by Patrice Desilets, creative director of Assassin’s Creed I & II and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Other Assassin’s Creed alumni, including the producer and art director are also involved.

Why you should keep an eye on them:

What you’ve got here is a lot of Ubisoft’s talent without the corporate nonsense we have had to deal with. They very recently announced their first game, Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey; a third person episodic survival action game.

Hazelight Studios

Who are they?

Did you play Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons? The 2013 title mixed Journey with Fable and garnered strong critical praise. Hazelight Studios was founded by that game’s director, Josef Fares (who also directed award winning films in Sweden), and was subsequently bought by EA.

Why you should keep an eye on them:

Their first title hasn’t been announced yet, but we’ve got a teaser to feast our eyes upon. A lot of the same staff who worked on Brothers are working on this title too, including Fares.

Official Site | Twitter

Gunfire Games

Who are they?

Previously known as Crytek USA, and even more previously known as Vigil Games, Gunfire is mostly made up of people who worked on the Darksiders series.

Why you should keep an eye on them:

If their pedigree didn’t get your attention enough, the company mandate to create ‘AAA indie’ titles might. Although, once again, no games have been announced as of yet, expect a new IP to be their first project – with the potential for more Darksiders down the line.

Official Site | Twitter

Airship Syndicate

Who are they?

The ex-Vigil employees that didn’t go on to be part of Crytek USA and then Gunfire, alongside comic book creator Joe Madureira.

Why you should keep an eye on them:

Unlike some of the other entries on this list, Airship Syndicate have actually announced their first project, which is actually a game and a comic! Battle Chasers was a cult favourite comic series created by Madureira, and the game seeks to mix comic conventions with RPG mechanics, and promises to be quite different from Darksiders.

Official Site | Twitter

Hangar 13

Who are they:

A studio opened by 2K to make new console and PC titles, led by Haden Blackman, a writer who has worked on Batwoman and Elektra comic series and Star Wars games for LucasArts – including The Force Unleashed, for which he won an award. Their name comes from the fact their offices are a converted air base, which is awesome.

Why you should keep an eye on them:

Not only have you got staff that have worked on The Force Unleashed and 1313 (RIP) AND Splinter Cell: Blacklist, but this team has got the might of 2K behind them, and they know a thing or two about bringing interesting projects to life. Hangar 13 describes its as yet unannounced first title as an ‘intense action game’, which is how we like our action. Hangar 13 is expected to be developing the third entry in the Mafia series.

Lunar Software

Who are they?

Lunar Software are a UK based team consisting of only four people. They’ve been busy chugging away at their debut release, Routine, for a while now and are hoping to release it on Steam this year.

Why you should keep an eye on them:

Because we’ve been keeping a close eye on Routine for quite some time on OnlySP, and the space station-set horror game gives us Alien: Isolation vibes, but with the twists of permadeath and difficult choices to be made.

Official Site | Twitter

The Farm 51

Who are they?

We’re cheating a bit here, as The Farm 51 aren’t a new developer per se, but this could be the year they hit the big time. The Farm 51 has been going since 2005 and has developed the games NecroVisioN and Painkiller: Hell & Damnation.

Why you should keep an eye on them:

Although their previous games have received a generally mixed reception, they have their fans. And based on how incredible their first teaser for new IP Get Even looks, you can colour us excited. See for yourself, and try and spot where the real life footage ends and the game footage begins.

Official Site | Twitter

Warhorse Studios

Who are they?

A Prague based studio made up of guys who worked on the Mafia and Operation Flashpoint franchises. And when we say ‘worked on’ we mean executive producers, game designers and screen writers, just in case you thought we meant unpaid interns or the tea-lady. You can read our interview with them here.

Why you should keep an eye on them:

These developers have proven they can work across a variety of settings, so don’t be surprised if medieval adventure game Kingdom Come: Deliverance turns out to be a contender to The Elder Scrolls or The Witcher. But don’t make that comparison to them, their website tells you to ‘forget magic, elves and dragons – at Kingdom Come: Deliverance you’ll get hit by the dark ages at full tilt’.

Official Site | Twitter 

Sirenium Digital

Who are they?

A small company based in Milwaukee of all places. We did an exclusive interview with them before, and it’s well worth checking out.

Why you should keep an eye on them:

Do you remember that Milo demonstration when Kinect was called Project Natal? Sirenium are trying something similar, with your reactions being watched and affecting how the game turns out. It’s very high concept, and combined with the gorgeous visuals and art style mean we could be in for something special.

Official Site | Twitter

4A Games

Who are they?

One you might’ve heard of, 4A games are responsible for the Metro series (the PS4 and Xbox One received a “Redux” collection of both games last year). Not only are the Ukranian studio working on a new instalment of that franchise but also a new IP.

Why you should keep an eye on them:

Metro: Last Light did extremely well critically, and the fact 4A went back and re-jigged the first game to make it more like the second for it’s current-gen re-release shows they care about their games. As excited as we are for the third game in that franchise it’s their new IP, which promises to be a shooter in an “unusual” alien landscape, has us even more intrigued.

Official Site | Twitter

Joe Anderton
One of those British people, complaining about everything is part of the package. I like to think my claim to be fame is being a legitimate Pokémon master but most people would say it's that I look like Matt Damon.

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