Former developers from Ubisoft Massive (Tom Clancy's The Division) and IO Interactive (Hitman) have banded together to form indie studio Sharkmob, according to GamesBeat, and they're working on an unannounced multiplayer game.
The studio is currently keeping mum about the project, but Sharkmob CEO Fredrik Rundqvist tells GamesBeat it has licensed a "cult classic" intellectual property. The team wants to support it with content updates and live services, and eventually turn it into a franchise. Sharkmob says on its website the game is being built with the Unreal engine, it will be multi-platform, and it will be "action-packed and likely rated M."
“We’re not really interested in making a more traditional single-player type of game,” Rundqvist tells GamesBeat. “What we play privately, the kind of games we love, are very social, very competitive, always multiplayer. The more the merrier. Of course, in our opinion, the pure mechanics of that are not interesting if you don’t have the right IP, the right setting, the right fantasy to get people really excited about the game mechanics we provide. I guess that also gives you a hint as to what kind of game we’re making.”
Licensed games used to be a punchline in the video game industry, but some have found success in recent years. The Division, for example, recently surpassed 20 million players, while another Tom Clancy game, Rainbow Six Siege, has over 15 million registered players.
Sharkmob says it currently has 30 full-time employees. It's aiming for 100-150 in order to stay small. “Here we can go through a decision in just minutes, which cuts down on all lead times immensely,” says IP and communications director Martin Hultberg. “The flatter organization and the direct communication have been a great difference, for me at least, when it comes to decision-making and directing issues toward whoever needs to do something. There’s a huge difference there.”