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Blizzard, Riot vet founds Octopus 8 Studios

By Matthew Handrahan

Blizzard, Riot vet founds Octopus 8 Studios

Mon 04 Nov 2013 10:38am GMT / 5:38am EST / 2:38am PST

Rich Barham, Chris Cox and Justin Parsler start new dev with focus on emerging talent

Blizzard, ZeniMax and Riot Games veteran Rich Barham has co-founded a new mobile focused developer, Octopus 8 Studios.

Barham will be CEO of the studio, which aims to launch its first game on mobile and tablet platforms before the end of the year, with a second release scheduled for 2014. Both games are being developed in conjunction with "breakthrough talent," which will be one of Octopus 8's core policies going forward.

"We are continuing to see a move away from traditional, medium sized games companies which span the gap between self publishers and the industry giants," said Barham in a statement. "Many of the middle sized companies have large, cumbersome and expensive infrastructures which are struggling to maintain profitability in an agile and changing marketplace.

"Too many good companies and people are suffering this situation, and there are better ways to manage an evolving industry, particularly with much of the superb talent which is currently being throttled by the vicious circle of needing experience to demonstrate it. Octopus 8 Studios is doing things a different way, and we believe it's the right way - for games people, and for games."

Prior to Octopus 8, Barham was US group manager for Blizzard, global director of ZeniMax Online Studios and global director of support for Riot Games. His co-founders are Chris Cox, a lecturer at Brunel university and a designer at Lady Shotgun, and Justin Parsler, also a lecturer at brunel university and a senior designer at Mediatonic.

Details of Octopus 8's projects will be released shortly.

From Recommendations by Taboola


John Bye Lead Designer, Future Games of London

501 504 1.0
Off topic, and maybe it's just me, but the "more from the web" links that have started appearing under all the articles recently seem completely irrelevant and somewhat lower the tone of the site IMO. On this story I'm seeing -

13 mind-blowing pumpkin designs
Apple iPad 5 pictures leak
A Japanese craft founded on samurais and cherry trees
Why e-readers are crumbling
22 appetizer recipes that are sure to impress

Which is maybe one or two steps up from those "lose weight with this one amazing tip" or "mom makes $3,000 a week online" ads...

Posted:A year ago


Rich Barham CEO & Founder, Octopus 8 Studios

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Sorry John, I promise it wasn't Octopus 8 Studios that put them there though ;)
(that said, I kinda like the idea of a Japanese craft about samurais and cherry trees).

Posted:A year ago


Matt Martin Editor,

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Sorry chaps, slight technical issue. Let us look into it...

Posted:A year ago


Mark Barney Producer & Project Manager & Game Designer, Firefly Studios

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Interesting! Where is the studio based?

Posted:A year ago

Good luck to Rich and co!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Gustav Seymore on 4th November 2013 7:41pm

Posted:A year ago


Adam Jordan Community Management/Moderation

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Nice and refreshing to see a studio talking about being upfront and transparent, now if only that effect could become an epidemic ;)

Posted:A year ago


Rich Barham CEO & Founder, Octopus 8 Studios

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Thanks for the kind comments, we're certainly trying to do things very differently and we'll do all we can to hold to those ideals of transparency and integrity. After all, they're at the core of doing things right, wouldn't you say?

Posted:A year ago


Adam Jordan Community Management/Moderation

147 141 1.0
After all, they're at the core of doing things right, wouldn't you say?
Pretty much spot on. Communication is key at the end of the day and the most powerful tool anyone can wield. Of course there are times where not giving full information helps greatly (Especially when it comes to games...for example: a patch/update disguised as routine maintenance and not confirming it until the update was a success) but as someone who has been the middle man between developers and the community, I can certainly say that secrecy and silence can damage projects far worse than the most game breaking bugs.

I just hope one day the big companies realise that their communities are far more important than anything else (Not just in the gaming industry but anywhere that provides a service) because without them, there would be nothing.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Jordan on 6th November 2013 3:21am

Posted:A year ago


Rich Barham CEO & Founder, Octopus 8 Studios

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/salute to you. Reading these common values being shared gives me hope for the future of our industry :)

Posted:A year ago


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