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Angry Birds 2 lead programmer launches VR studio

Neuston will draw on Jonas Johansson's experience in mobile and on AAA titles like Crysis 3 and Just Cause 2

The lead programmer of Angry Birds 2 has founded a new studio to make "social action games" in VR.

Jonas Johansson founded Neuston in Stockholm, Sweden last year, but the new studio is only now emerging from stealth mode. Neuston has the "ambitious goal" of developing "high-quality social sction games in virtual reality."

Johansson's most recent job was lead programmer at Rovio, a position he held for more than three years as he worked on Angry Birds 2. Prior to that, he worked on the Crysis franchise and Ryse at Crytek, and Just Cause 2 at Avalanche Studios.

That mix of mobile and AAA experience is a key aspect of what Neuston aims to achieve in VR, mixing the social focus of the former with the technical expertise of the latter. In a statement on the Neuston website, Johansson said that VR means that, "games haven't been this exciting in years."

"Humans are social by nature," Johansson said. "Shared experiences create bonds like nothing else. Virtual reality allows us to augment our lives with experiences that would otherwise not be possible.

"Players can see their hands and look around freely in these new worlds. Hand-eye coordination has been a staple ingredient of action games for decades, and it's more intuitive now than ever."

Neuston's first game will be announced in the coming weeks.

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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