Back in May Disney exited the console game publishing business and unfortunately shuttered Disney Infinity makers Avalanche. Now a number of the Avalanche development team have been hired by augmented reality specialists castAR who have decided to launch a new Salt Lake City studio, "underscoring the company's commitment to launching the first dedicated mixed reality gaming and entertainment platform."
The Salt Lake Studio expansion will more than double castAR's development capabilities and follows quickly on the footsteps of the company's management overhaul in August when it hired Darrell Rodriguez as CEO and Steve Parkis as president and COO. Parkis, who's overseen teams at Disney, Zynga and Storm 8, will be tasked with ensuring that castAR Salt Lake City works hand-in-hand with the game team at the Palo Alto headquarters.
"Our new castAR SLC team has creatively-inspired talent that has delivered at the highest levels of quality. We're excited to have them join us in creating a new generation of gaming through mixed reality experiences," said Parkis. "With their experience in bringing massive franchises to life through breakthrough interactive design, the addition of this team is our next bold step in launching a dynamic platform that will bring awe-inspiring mixed reality to households."
While castAR has not announced specific games for its platform just yet, the company is still targeting a consumer launch for 2017. It's not hard to imagine how the toys-to-life category could be integrated into a mixed reality gaming world. For more on castAR's overall vision and approach to the market, check out our interview with co-founders Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson here.
Update: While castAR couldn't tell me how many of the Avalanche team they hired, a representative did confirm with GI.biz that the total headcount overall at castAR now stands at 70.
If you have jobs news to share or a new hire you want to shout about, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org