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SilverBack Studios: Brief notes to date

Born from the failure of Acclaim, fifteen of the original team of Interview With A Made Man, based at Acclaim Manchester, have been pulled back together to finish the job they started, due to an deep felt belief in this title. This belief has been shared by Fund4Games who have managed to extradite the rights and equipment required by the team from the messy, trans-Atlantic, asset arguments after Acclaims untimely and messy demise.

From the team, this unflinching belief is demonstrated by the suspension of their careers for over six months whilst waiting for the studio to reform, given that this was always in doubt, and in the face of numerous job offers, it says a lot about the teams' determination that this game should be finished. From Funds4Games the commitment has come in the form of financial backing of both the rights buy out, company formation and ongoing development costs. In addition they have put together a veteran management team led by Jon Oldham, ex-Team17, Infogrames and Ocean.

For the development community in the UK and particularly the North West this rescue provides a welcome change from the unremitting closure of developers across the region. Waiting in the wings to join, when the team acquires a publishing contract, are additional ex-team members and assorted highly regarded members of the development community A twist to the tale is the fact that the team has returned to their old offices, recently occupied by Acclaim but in the not to decent past by that stalwart of the old North West publishing scene, Ocean.

Central to this story is the game itself based around a storyline created by best selling author David Fisher it tracks the rise of a mafia member from the jungles of Vietnam to the equally dangerous streets of New York. The game played in third person includes authentic instances from the world of organized crime, the settings and characters, although not named, are authenticated by the involvement of Bill Bannano, ex-head of the Bonnano crime family.

The future of the team and the studio will ultimately depend upon them negotiating a development deal, and going on from there, creating a franchise based on the game they are developing. However given the support they have created around them and the strength so evident in the product they are creating one can only feel that this is likely to be a success story.

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