You may have heard that a group of Ex-Blizzard Entertainment developers have founded a new Studio and they have successfully raised around $9.7M in total funding so far. The name of the new development studios is “Frost Giant Studios” and developing real time strategy (RTS) games is their passion.
We had a chance to have a little chat with the CEO Frost Giant Studios about the new Studio and their upcoming game. He provided us some interesting insights about the game and their future plans in general. Here is the complete interview:
Q: We see that a lot of veterans these days are going indie. Everyone has different reason to take this leap of faith. What is yours? What was the prime motivation behind Frost Giant?
Tim Morten: There are different pros and cons to working at big companies versus working at small companies. Blizzard is one of the best companies in the business, and it makes sense that their focus right now is on follow-ups to great successes like Overwatch and Diablo. Our passion is RTS games, and we feel incredibly fortunate to have found investors to back our effort to build a new one independently.
Q: How many people you plan to hire for your new project and how many have you hired already?
Tim Morten: Between full-time and contract staff, Frost Giant has already lined up 20 committed developers, and we expect to reach roughly twice our current size by the time we release.
Q: Are you guys happy with the funding you guys have raised so far? Do you think it is enough to fulfill the vision you have for your real-time strategy game?
Tim Morten: We’re extremely happy with the funding we’ve received, and also with the investors who have backed us, and who share our belief in the future of real-time strategy. The funding we’ve raised so far is a portion of what will be necessary to complete our first game; we expect to do more fund-raising in the future.
Q: Can you guys share the progress on your new project? Has it passed the early stages or is it still in the planning phase?
Tim Morten: We’re currently in pre-production, focused on concepting and building core systems. You can hear a bit about specific focuses in the “Pre-Production” video on our YouTube channel.
Q: I know this might be early, but are you guys planning to make a multiplayer only game or fans can also expect Starcraft like single-player in it?
Tim Morten: We plan to continue the tradition of enabling players to either play against AI, or against other players.
Q: Your team has a lot of veterans who worked on Blizzard games specially, StarCraft. Do you guys plan to deviate from StarCraft essence with novel ideas or the new game will take inspiration from Blizzard’s Strategy game?
Tim Morten: We very much want to build a game that feels like an evolution of Blizzard RTS games, but our influences will include Warcraft III, Broodwar, and StarCraft II. We expect to be as different as those games are to each other.
Q: Is your game planned for consoles, specially, PS5 and Xbox Series or it is only being planned for PC?
Tim Morten:We are focused on PC for launch. It’s not clear to us whether it’s possible for RTS to be as fun to play with a console controller.
Q: There haven’t been many Real-Time Strategy games on console in the last generation. Do you think the new generation of consoles are ready to receive more RTS games?
Tim Morten: From a graphics perspective, new consoles are definitely powerful enough for RTS, but the control interface remains a significant challenge.
Q: Do you guys plan on publishing the game as an Indie Developer or you will be looking for a publisher? Any plans on joining hand with a publisher, maybe Activision?
Tim Morten: Trends in publishing are evolving quickly, so we’re taking a wait-and-see approach. Will new distribution platforms gain prominence? Will existing exclusive channels open up? Will streaming become a bigger trend? Will large platforms from other parts of the world start to proliferate?
Q: What game engine you guys are going to use to develop your new game?
Tim Morten: We expect to make a decision on a game engine in the next month, but we’ve been evaluating multiple major engines for suitability.
Q: Now that you guys have a studio of your own, independent from any external pressure. What sort of working environment are you guys aiming to achieve? What will be your stance on the notorious “crunch culture”?
Tim Morten: Even when we worked together inside Blizzard, we made an effort to maintain a good work-life balance, and we’re committed to continuing that. For example, rather than having a maximum number of days off, we have a minimum to make sure no one on the team makes work their only focus.
Q: Are you guys planning more conventional ways of raising funds for the project like Kickstarter, Early Access etc?
Tim Morten: We haven’t considered paths for pre-release player funding yet, because we’re so early in our process. Separate from funding, we’re very committed to having discourse with the community throughout our development. This is currently happening through the FrostGiant subreddit, and through the monthly newsletter that anyone can sign up to receive at FrostGiant.com.
Q: For PC, what’s your take on specific platform exclusivity like Steam, Battle.net or even Epic Games Store? Will you choose an exclusive platform for PC or want your game on all the platforms?
Tim Morten: As we get closer to launch, we’ll assess which platform lets us reach the most RTS players globally, which platform provides the best user experience, and which platform enables us to re-invest the most back into future content for players.