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Former EA employees establish new development studio

Five former members of EA Black Box, who have between them worked on games including Need For Speed Underground and Baldur's Gate, have founded their own studio to work on PSP and DS handheld games.

Five former Electronic Arts Black Box staff members have established their own development studio to produce games for the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS handheld consoles.

Deep Fried Entertainment, based in Vancouver, has been set up by Phil Weeks, Russell Rice, Steve Tolin, Ryan Bedard and Brian Tolin. Whilst at EA they worked on games such as Baldur's Gate, MDK2 and Need for Speed: Underground 1 and 2.

DFE's founders "hope to capitalise on the creative freedoms and technical innovations that often elude larger, assembly line production companies," according to a statement.

"Our team shares a combined 35 years of game industry experience," said COO Brenda Bailey.

"Our guys have made games that run the gamut from blockbusters to niche titles for industry giants and boutique developers. They've launched platforms and re-birthed gaming genres."

"We've truly built an amazing team at an exciting time for the videogame industry."

DFE's creative director, Steve Tolin, commented: "Historically, the very best and most innovative games have been developed in an environment that balances top-notch skills with creativity and freedom."

"We've built that environment, and our intention is to become known as one of the best developers of 'pick-up and play' games that are pure fun."

DFE has already acquired licenses to develop for the DS and PSP, and is said to be in talks with major publishers.

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Ellie Gibson: Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.