Last year HeroEngine (which is being used to build Star Wars: The Old Republic) was bought from Simutronics by Idea Fabrik in Germany. Last week the Germans announced the creation of a new game development studio in Northern Virginia: Second Star Interactive.
Headed by game industry veteran Darrin Hyrup, Second Star Interactive features a core team with decades of experience at major studios throughout the game industry, including Electronic Arts, Mythic, Bethesda Softworks and Sony Online Entertainment.
“Developing our own games is a critical part of our efforts to expand and enhance our technology because it keeps us close to the HeroEngine user experience,” said Neil Harris, President of the U.S. operations and COO of Idea Fabrik. “Darrin and the Second Star team bring a wealth of experience and practical contributions to the table that will help us grow both as a technology provider and as a company.”
Second Star Interactive will operate as a division of IF Studios Incorporated, the U.S.-based wholly owned subsidiary of Idea Fabrik Plc., which acquired the HeroEngine technology business in 2010. Second Star Interactive will work closely with IT Lagoon, the Idea Fabrik art studio based in Kiev, Ukraine, to develop online games that deliver both an exciting gaming experience and showcase the strength of the Hero game development platform.
Said Darrin Hyrup, newly appointed VP and General Manager of Second Star Interactive, “The HeroEngine tools are amazing. They let us rapidly prototype and develop content faster than anything I have seen in all my years in game development. We’re excited by the possibilities offered by the engine, and are looking forward to launching games sooner than we ever thought was possible.”
“We at Idea Fabrik are extremely excited about the launch of the Second Star Interactive studio, especially in the current environment of high growth in online game development, where the competition for high quality talent is very strong among both well-established players and the new breed of well-financed casual game developers,” said Alex Shalash, Chairman of the Board of Idea Fabrik.
Since launching in 2006, HeroEngine has been licensed to dozens of game development firms worldwide for projects such as EA/BioWare’s upcoming MMO title, Star Wars: The Old Republic. Idea Fabrik’s first in-house game is currently in development and will be launching later this year. A number of third-party developers who have licensed HeroEngine also plan to launch games featuring the technology before the end of 2011.