ArenaNet and Undead Labs Founder Jeff Strain Announces Possibility Space, a New Distributed Game Development Studio
Industry Veterans From Double Fine, Electronic Arts, Magic Leap, Oculus, Ubisoft, VICE, Valve, ArenaNet and More Join Innovative Studio
Jeff Strain, Co-Founder of ArenaNet (Guild Wars, acquired by NCsoft) and Founder of Undead Labs (State of Decay, acquired by Microsoft), is happy to announce a new studio: Possibility Space. Possibility Space is built around an innovative model where game developers can create shared human experiences in an ambitious, physically distributed studio.
Strain is joined by an exceptionally experienced team of industry veterans: Jane Ng (Campo Santo, Valve) is Possibility Space’s Visual Director; Austin Walker (Waypoint Media, Friends at the Table podcast) is IP Director; Liz England (Ubisoft, Insomniac) is Simulation and Narrative Systems Director; Richard Foge (Undead Labs, ProbablyMonsters) joins as Design Director; Brandon Dillon (Oculus, Double Fine) is VP of Engineering; Leah Rivera (Undead Labs, ArenaNet) is Senior Narrative Systems Designer; Brian Jennings (NZXR, Magic Leap) is Technical Design Director; Charles Randall (Ubisoft, BioWare) and Erica Tam (Electronic Arts, Oculus) join as Senior Gameplay Engineers.
“We felt this was the right time to create something new–a studio built from the ground up to embrace evolving needs and perspectives for both players and developers,” says Possibility Space Founder Jeff Strain. “Like many others, the past year and a half has been a fraught time for me. While I am grateful that my family is safe, the anxiety, fear, and isolation of the last 18 months has been almost unbearable at times. That fear and isolation was the catalyst for Possibility Space, a modern kind of game studio, where we are creating a joyful game that’s been my dream for many years. I’m delighted and grateful for the team that has chosen to share in this vision and bring it life.”
“I’m so excited to join up with Jeff and the incredible team at Possibility Space,” adds Austin Walker, formerly Editor-in-Chief for Waypoint at VICE Media, host of Friends at the Table podcast, and IP Director for Possibility Space. “To be frank, I never thought I’d take the leap from media to development, but as I got to know the folks here, I realized just how badly I wanted to work with them. So many of our ideas and priorities line up, from our thoughts on what makes a compelling game to our commitment to an equitable and healthy studio culture. I’m very lucky to be working alongside so many talented people, and I’m thrilled to bring my experience as a storyteller and worldbuilder to the innovative projects we’ll be working on in the coming years.”
Based in New Orleans, Louisiana, Possibility Space is drawing talent from around the world by allowing passionate developers to live and work wherever they want. It’s the natural next step in Strain’s decades-long commitment to creating world-class games within safe and ethical work environments.
As Possibility Space Visual Director, Jane Ng, formerly Lead Environment Artist on Firewatch at Campo Santo and artist on Half-Life: Alyx at Valve, puts it, “My mom says that the world is in great need of expelling ‘tired air,’ which probably makes more sense in the original Cantonese. But when I had the opportunity to shape a team and a company with ambitious, fresh goals that just seemed so right for the time, I shook off the fatigue of the pandemic and jumped in. The fact that I didn’t have to leave my home or uproot my family just made it easier to see it was the right team to join. I am thrilled to be part of Possibility Space, and to play a part in opening all kinds of possibilities for players and developers.”
Ng is joined by Liz England, Possibility Space Narrative Systems Design Director, formerly a Lead Designer of Watch Dogs: Legion and Designer on Sunset Overdrive and Scribblenauts. “A big motivation for me in joining Possibility Space is the opportunity to assemble a team of smart, hard-working creatives from a whole bunch of diverse backgrounds, and bring them together to do fantastic work within a culture where people are set up for success.”
“Turning the page on a new chapter can be scary, especially with all the uncertainty in the world these days,” says Possibility Space Technical Director Brandon Dillon, who previously worked as Product Management Director for Oculus VR and was the Technical Director for Grim Fandango Remastered at Double Fine Productions. “I personally made the decision to join Possibility Space to help build an organization that truly wants every employee to have a whole, healthy life away from work, and which supports and emphasizes community service and outreach no matter where we are based. Now I don’t have to compromise between where my family and I make our lives and making world-class games.”
Possibility Space is supported by partnerships including the State of Louisiana Office of Economic Development and Unity Technologies. Transcend Fund, a global venture capital firm focused on games and digital media, led an investment into Possibility Space in April of this year.
About Possibility Space
Possibility Space is a distributed game studio dedicated to building joyful games around human experiences. Founded in 2021 by Jeff Strain and a diverse and experienced team of game and media industry veterans, Possibility Space is built from the ground up as a distributed studio, allowing staff to live where they want to live and work where they want while supporting the communities they love. Based in New Orleans, Louisiana, the studio also works to identify, mentor, train, and hire individuals from underserved and overlooked communities and backgrounds. For more information and to view available job postings, visit www.possibility.co.
Possibility Space Corp is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Prytania Media LLC. Possibility Space and the Possibility Space logo are trademarks of Prytania Media LLC. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.