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Default Bonfire Studios - New Studio from Ex Blizzard Staff

September 13th, 2016, 12:05
@Medium they report that ex-Blizzard man Rob Pardo has formed a new studio called Bonfire Studios. Rob is reportedly aiming for the space between the Indie and the AAA market and already has strong financial backing thanks to partners Riot Games and venture capital outfit Andreessen Horowitz.

Game developers live the dream scenario where passion meets work. We don't view our week as something to get through so we can really live on the weekend. But often, developers must compromise and decide - do I work on a blockbuster game where I have less personal impact or the gutsy indie studio that struggles to get noticed? Our vision is to create a studio that doesn't require them to choose.

As lifelong gamers, we approached this problem like we are embarking on an epic quest.

The most important part of our quest is WHY are we doing this? We can't say we are going to Mount Doom to save the world, but we do think deeply about what we love about games. One of the most rewarding parts of creating any game, be it a D&D campaign or a massive persistent world, is the connection you have to the players themselves. You get to see the player's reactions, you get to respond to them and make their experience better over time. It's like the warmth of friends around a bonfire, sharing stories.

And that's why we named our studio BONFIRE. The bonfire is a metaphor for the experiences we wish to create. We want friends to connect through our games and share amazing experiences, tell the stories, and come closer together.

To ensure our developers have a big impact we are organizing them into small but powerful and diverse superhero teams, like the Avengers. We believe you can create epic games with small teams of talented, self-driven game developers, where each team is deeply connected to their players and empowered to make the best decisions to evolve their game without bureaucracies, committees or middle management in their way.
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September 13th, 2016, 13:31
Announced the same day Chris Metzen (the guy who created the Warcarft, Diablo and Starcraft universe) announce he retires from Blizzard and the industry. Amazing timing, lol
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September 13th, 2016, 13:50
Blizzard is large AAA games only now and not my thing anymore. I'm hopeful this studio will be like the original Blizzard.
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September 13th, 2016, 17:58
There's a space between the Indie and the AAA market? Perhaps he means budget-wise. I.e. seven or eight figures. Well I would hope they can also pursue some new directions that AAA projects won't risk and Indies can't hope to touch.
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September 13th, 2016, 18:24
interesting news, here is to hoping it isnt worlds of whatevercraft 2.
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September 13th, 2016, 18:26
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
There's a space between the Indie and the AAA market?
AAA have budgets over 30m now, but real Indies are still sub 1m budget, everything above that require external financing at which point it isn't really indie anymore.
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September 13th, 2016, 20:24
Yes. However, I hope these guys have better decision making abilities than Flagship Studios did.
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September 13th, 2016, 22:32
There are two very different "in-betweens", between AAA and indie:
- low budget (for AAA) but mainstream gameplay, like No Man's Sky;
- high budget (for indie) but niche oriented, like Pillars of Eternity.
I know which one I prefer.
Unfortunately, I also think I know which they are going for, and certainly what Flagship went for as well.
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September 13th, 2016, 23:00
Well there are a few studios like Larian which are way above 1M but are not exactly AAA. I think that is what they are targeting. To be honest a lot of AAA studio spend way too much on advertising.

Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
AAA have budgets over 30m now, but real Indies are still sub 1m budget, everything above that require external financing at which point it isn't really indie anymore.
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September 15th, 2016, 09:21
I like this idea. Not a small indie studio, not a huge AAA studio but trying to gain something from both business models/sizes. I think studios like Larian are putting out some of the best games now so if that's what they're aiming for, great.

And he mentioned "D&D campaign" in that blurb so I have to think that's a good thing.
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