Dino Patti, the former CEO of Playdead, is collaborating with a feature film animator to start a new studio in the UK.
Jumpship will be based in Guildford, a longstanding hub for the British development community. The company's first project will be Somerville, a new "Sci-Fi Action Adventure" IP that follows several different characters in the aftermath of a disastrous global event.
In a statement released today, Olsen described Somerville as a "passion project" that he has developed even as he continued to work on blockbuster films like Skyfall, Thor and The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron. Olsen's career has largely been devoted to cinema, though one of his first professional roles was as a character animator on Ninja Theory's Heavenly Sword.
"This unwillingness to take the path well-trodden, to aim for standards seemingly out of reach and meticulously handcraft every aspect is where the weight of value lies for us as a studio"
"It's taken many early rises and late nights crafting this passion project of mine, and it's a dream come true to be given the opportunity to bring others on who can help to make Somerville everything it can be," Olsen said. "Dino is a great collaborator and his pedigree challenges every facet of the process. We're excited to show you what Jumpship has to offer."
Patti left Playdead, the company he co-founded, in July this year, after ten years in which the studio established itself as one of the most admired indie developers in the world. The two games Playdead created with Patti as CEO, Limbo and Inside, were both critical and commercial successes.
"It's been amazing to meet a guy like Chris," Patti said. "Besides being a very talented individual he has also been capable of fulfilling all the roles of a small development team. We are now looking for more talent to help us on this journey."
Further details on Somerville are limited, but a statement on the Jumpship website offers some insight on the company's creative strategy: "Our philosophy is to break preconceived notions of what games can be by exploring the creative possibilities of the medium. We believe in games as a legitimate and positive endeavour; with potential not only as an entertainment medium, but as a tool to question the human condition. We strive to support our intent with an unwavering ethic in all facets of the process.
"This unwillingness to take the path well-trodden, to aim for standards seemingly out of reach and meticulously handcraft every aspect is where the weight of value lies for us as a studio. It raises entertainment to something deeply personal."
While Jumpship appears to comprise only Patti and Olsen at present, it expects to grow to eight people by the end of the year.