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Tomb Raider creator, Spec Ops: The Line creative director, and Call of Duty vets go indie with Tangentlemen

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Posted on March 18, 2014 AT 04:45pm

In EGM Issue #263, available April 1st, we talk to Gone Home‘s Steve Gaynor and Godus‘ Peter Molyneux about why they made the leap from large studios to indie development, and we examine this ongoing trend in detail. It’s a movement that’s come to define the industry over the past few years, and we have news of another example of the phenomenon today.

Original Tomb Raider creator Toby Gard and Spec Ops: The Line creative director and lead designer Cory Davis are the big names leading the formation of Tangentlemen, which also includes several veteran Call of Duty developers. The studio’s first project has the working title of Daedalus, which Davis describes as an “existential, surreal horror trip.”

“Our solutions are not what you’d expect,” Davis said in a statement announcing the studio’s formation. “They’re often weird, or even absurd, with strong gestures that challenge the status quo. Our games are extreme in their thematic, narrative, and mechanical design.”

Like Gaynor and Molyneux, these industry veterans yearned for the freedom to follow their own creative vision, and after development finished on Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z—the last project for many on the Tangentlemen team—the time was right to move on to another challenge.

“The rocketing costs of triple-A development led to a creative stagnation in games until the recent explosion of the indie scene,” said Gard who, in addition to being one of the minds behind the first Tomb Raider, also designed Lara Croft herself. “We have formed Tangentlemen to take some creative risks and trust our belief that there is an audience who wants fun experiences that don’t fall comfortably inside predefined marketing boxes.”

The company, currently working out of a garage somewhere in Southern California, has already launched an official website and Twitter account, so more information about Daedalus will likely be revealed in those places in the coming months.

Andrew Fitch, Managing Editor
Andrew Fitch, a proud Japanese RPG and serial-comma enthusiast, has been attending E3 for close to a decade now. His least-proud moment? That time in 2004 when, suffering from utter exhaustion, he decided to take a break on the creepy, dilapidated—and possibly cursed—La-Z-Boy at Konami’s Silent Hill booth. Follow Andrew’s adventures in avoiding cursed furniture at his Twitter feed: @twittch. Meet the rest of the crew.

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