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Bungie founder starts new developer

Halo veteran tries out a 'Hollywood' development style

Ex-Bungie CEO Alexander Seropian has started up a new games developer with an unorthodox development style in Chicago. He's not aiming low with his first title either, it's a "wildly innovative" creation using the Halo game engine.

Wideload Games, as they are called, draws on movie-making methodology to create games, which could, according to Seropian, save independent game development. The system works by Wideload first developing the prototypes for a title, to test it and get approval for the game with a publisher.

They'll then farm the production out to independent developers to finish the product. The magic of this formula is that it minimises the risk to the publisher, according to Seropian who commented "the focus on prototyping and preproduction eliminates many production risks, as the team is able to see all of the technical and creative issues prior to going into full production."

A bi-product of this system is that Wideload will be able to tap into different types of independent talent specific to tasks in hand, whilst keeping a hardcore inner-circle of developers to focus on the meat of the title.

"This is a variant of the model that's been successful in film for quite some time," says Seropian. "We develop the intellectual property and put together the technology and production pipeline in-house. Then we leverage our team to manage a staff of independent talent."

Seropian helped found Bungie in the early 1990's before selling out to Microsoft in 2000. He then carried on working in Redmond until late last year, and has been plotting this move for a while in his native Chicago. Seropian has had his finger in pretty much every hit gaming pie Bungie has produced.

The big fish has reportedly also recruited a number of former Bungie staffers to make up the team, now consisting of ten people, but rising to fifty when development kicks in.

So, are we expecting big things for the first title? Hell, yes. With the kind of talent on offer from Bungie, a nice wad of Microsoft buy-out cash, with a licenced, proven, multiplatform engine, we certainly should be. We'll find out more "sometime in 2005". Until then...

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