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Former Eidos Montreal GM on leaving AAA Ferrari-building game development

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Posted on May 13, 2014 AT 01:00pm

Stephane D’Astous departed triple-A game development due to exhaustion born from building the gaming equivalent of Ferraris, the former Eidos Montreal general manager told GamesIndustry.

“I am really proud of what was built in Montreal,” D’Astous told GamesIndustry. “People think there was some bad blood [but] it was really blown out of proportion…I was talking to a former colleague, it is all good, it is business, and we are all colleagues at the end of the day. It is a small industry…Since late summer, I took some time off because I never had the occasion to take some really unplugged time.”

“In the last 14 years in the gaming industry I like to consider myself working in a Ferrari garage,” he went on. “We were doing Ferraris, very proud of the high quality product, and you get embedded in that type of thinking. Once you are not exactly in that position you have the freedom to look at what is happening more than what you are doing.”

According D’Astous, one of his observed—and experienced—trends included tablet devices as “a game changer.” D’Astous says he played over fifty games in the last three months on his tablet, and was impressed by their quality. Spurred by this, and an unexpected meeting with Hibernum CEO Frederick Faubert, D’Astous found the new direction he believes his career needed.

“I have a better chance to be happy in a healthy industry sub-sector in five years if I choose mobile,” D’Astous said.

Hibernum, as a mobile developer, is responsible for the match-three game Jewel Quest and the Cartoon Network collaboration Calling All Mixels. The company also worked with Square Enix on Deus Ex: Human Revolution, developing 3D assets, animations, cutscenes, and environment pieces, which is presumably what put them on D’Astous’ radar.

At Square Enix, serving as Eidos Montreal’s general manager, D’Astous oversaw the development of 2013’s Tomb Raider reboot and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. He served in that position for almsot seven years, starting with the company in January 2007 before leaving in July of last year due to what he claimed was a a “lack of leadership, lack of courage, and the lack of communication” between their parent company and satellite studios such as Eidos.

Source: GamesIndustry

Chris Holzworth, News Editor
Chris Holzworth has wanted to write about games all his life. He first cut his teeth writing for enthusiast sites such as RPGFan, and after writing for just about every other enthusiast website he could came across, wound up as EGM's east coast news correspondent (read: editorial intern) before relocating to LA to serve as news editor. You can follow his rants about storytelling on Twitter @manadrive.[Meet the rest of the crew]

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