Close
Are you sure? Are you sure you want to report this comment? I understand, report it. Cancel

Blizzard, Riot vet founds Octopus 8 Studios

Blizzard, Riot vet founds Octopus 8 Studios

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

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.

11 Comments

John Bye
Senior Game Designer

477 434 0.9
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:5 months ago

#1

Rich Barham
CEO & Founder

3 0 0.0
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:5 months ago

#2
Sorry chaps, slight technical issue. Let us look into it...

Posted:5 months ago

#3

Mark Barney
Producer & Project Manager & Game Designer

3 0 0.0
Interesting! Where is the studio based?

Posted:5 months ago

#4
Good luck to Rich and co!

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

Posted:5 months ago

#5

Adam Jordan
Community Management/Moderation

94 47 0.5
Nice and refreshing to see a studio talking about being upfront and transparent, now if only that effect could become an epidemic ;)

Posted:5 months ago

#6

Tom Pickard
Lead Environment Artist - Campaign Map

308 382 1.2
Got to say I really like this approach, hiring upcoming talent to work with a core of expereinced staff will be beneficial to all. Once a company reaches the mid size the article mentions it often becomes bloated and the turnover of staff can stagnate too much. Good luck to you guys at Octopus 8.

Posted:5 months ago

#7

Rich Barham
CEO & Founder

3 0 0.0
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:5 months ago

#8

Tom Pickard
Lead Environment Artist - Campaign Map

308 382 1.2
Absolutly Rich, If I start my own studio in the future, I want a core of Respect, Quality, Integrity and transparancy. I think It's somthing you want ingrained from top to bottom (or across in a flat management structure) from the start of your venture, and the culture needs to form around those core principles. Its why Valve has it's own unique culture compared to others, because It was built around those values. There certainly Isn't enough transparency in this Industry, and most established studios have a certain working culture that Is so ingrained that It's difficult to move past it without breaking it apart first. So getting It right from day one Is an admirable goal that will hopfully reap rewards for you guys.

Posted:5 months ago

#9

Adam Jordan
Community Management/Moderation

94 47 0.5
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:5 months ago

#10

Rich Barham
CEO & Founder

3 0 0.0
/salute to you. Reading these common values being shared gives me hope for the future of our industry :)

Posted:5 months ago

#11

Login or register to post

Take part in the GamesIndustry community

Register now