It came as a surprise to me that Arkane Studios was celebrating its 20th year in the industry. Despite doggedly following news coming out of the studio since they first announced Dishonored in July 2011, I had forgotten they were responsible for both 2002’s Arx Fatalis and 2006’s Dark Messiah of Might and Magic.
Sadly, with their strong focus on creating games in the “immersive sim” genre – a genre that often feels depressingly niche these days – I suspect many gamers don’t follow their studio at all and might not even recognize the name off-hand, despite the high quality of their recent releases.
Looking back to its formation, Raphaël Colantonio is perhaps the most recognizable name among the founders who created Arkane Studios in Lyon, France at the end of 1999. Colantonio worked in quality assurance and localization for EA when they were publishing Origin Systems games – a studio notable for titles such as Ultima, Wing Commander, and System Shock.
Despite most staff moving on to form their own studios by then end of the 1990s, Origin Systems was originally home to big names such as Richard Garriott, Tom Chilton, John Romero, and – perhaps most importantly given Arkane Studio’s specialty – Harley Smith and Warren Spector. Clearly the games developed by Origin Systems had a huge impact on Colantonio’s plans, but it was far from smooth sailing for Arkane Studios in the beginning.
Enjoys games with awesome stories and characters, along with new and interesting hardware. Dislikes day-one patches and driver updates.
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