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Former EA, VUG execs form independent development studio

With a next generation console game already in development, Santa Monica-based Trilogy Studios has officially opened its doors.

Santa Monica-based Trilogy Studios has officially opened its doors, with the independent developer, which has been founded by a group of industry veterans, claiming to have work on a next-generation console title already underway.

The fledgling independent development studio has been established by three former executives from Electronic Arts and Vivendi Universal Games and intends to "focus on developing next generation properties that will fill the creativity gap facing the games industry today."

Rick Giolito, president and head of production, has over fourteen years of industry experience to draw upon, most recently serving as VP and executive producer for Electronic Arts. Responsible for over 250 developers, Giolito was the creative force behind the Medal of Honor series, which remains one of EA's most successful franchises. Winner of five Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences awards, Giolito was responsible for driving more than one billion dollars of revenue during his time at EA.

Fellow EA veteran Mark Skaggs will serve as COO for Trilogy Studios, bringing 18 years of game development experience to the firm. Formerly serving as VP and executive producer at EA Los Angeles, Skaggs worked on the acclaimed real-time strategy title, Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth.

Completing the trio of studio execs will be Michael Pole, former EVP of worldwide product development for Vivendi Universal Games. With over 20 years experience in entertainment and interactive game development, Pole has also served in similar roles for both Activision and Electronic Arts. He joins Trilogy Studios as co-founder and CEO.

The studio's first game is, according to consumer website Gamespot, a combination of First Person Shooter and RPG, and is billed as an episodic experience supporting downloadable content. No title or further gameplay details have been announced to date.

Trilogy has just completed its first round of independent equity funding, which closed at USD 2.9 million. Company president Rick Giolito commented: "We see a wealth of opportunity in new financial and distribution systems for interactive entertainment in addition to the traditional developer/publisher model, and Trilogy is building the infrastructure to support these new efforts."