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Intrepid Studios hires MMO veterans as Kickstarter nears $3m

Ashes of Creation developer recruits more talent from EverQuest and Planetside after smashing its crowdfunding target

Intrepid Studios has hired four new staff for its ambitious MMO Ashes of Creation, whose experience covers practically the entire history of online RPGs - from EveryQuest and Planetside right up to H1Z1.

Kevin McPherson and Akil Hooper both worked on EverQuest and its sequel at Sony Online Entertainment. McPherson also worked on Planetside and Planetside 2, while Hooper moved to Obsidian to work on Fallout: New Vegas. They join the San Diego-based company as lead programmer and lead technical designer, respectively.

Mat Broome also worked on EverQuest and Planetside 2, and continued to gain experience in online games with DC Universe Online and H1Z1. He will join Intrepid as senior character artist.

Rocco Scandizzo will be Ashes of Creation's lead economic designer, to which he will bring both academic experience (a Ph.D. in Economics) as well as 20 years experience in the games industry. In that time, Scandizzo was managing director of Psyop Games, director of franchise and license development at Activision, and director of strategic growth at Vivendi Games.

Ashes of Creation is one of the most successful games on Kickstarter in recent times. At the time of writing, the campaign had raised $2.9 million against a target of $750,000, with 30 hours still to go.

Even before these hires, Intrepid Studios was composed of talent from the teams responsible for EverQuest and Planetside franchises. In its pitch on Kickstarter, Intrepid said that Ashes of Creation has enough "private backing" to produce a "core viable product."

"What Kickstarter will allow us to do is expand our scope and give our team flexibility and room to breathe," the company said. "To really give us the opportunity to create exactly what we want. Crowdfunding also allows us to connect directly with the players most invested in our success.

"Game design is inherently risky, and Massively Multiplayer Role Playing Games are probably the most challenging genre in the industry. We are a team of veterans who are aware of and have lived through these challenges, and we're coming at this project with the kind of expertise that allows us to mitigate and manage them. More importantly, we see this project as a way for us to 'do it right.'"

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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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