New studio emerges from Vancouverâ??s breeding grounds

New studio emerges from Vancouverâ??s breeding grounds

By Rob Crossley

May 15th 2009 at 11:08AM

United Front Games working on two new properties for the 360 and PS3, one being a Hong Kong-based action title with Activision

As Vancouver’s enormous dev sector continues to see more starving developers flock towards it, a new studio has emerged from within the region's swelling society of creatives.

We say emerged, because United Front Games actually formed back in 2007 and has been quiet about it so far.

Since its genesis, the studio has pooled together talent spilling out of nearby studios such as Black Box Games, Rockstar Vancouver, Propaganda Games, Radical Entertainment, Action Pants and Next Level Games.

Much in the same way that the Canadian “don’t-call-us-a-supergroup” indie rock collective Broken Social Scene is a supergroup, United Front may well be happy with being labelled a superdev.

After all, collectively the team can draw from individual experience on games such as the Need for Speed series, Skate, Bully, Scarface, Godfather, Hulk, Spore and the NHL Sports franchise. That’s fairly super.

"Over the past two decades our core team has led development of some groundbreaking games, so we have enormous expectations of ourselves," said Stefan Wessels, United Front Games' General Manager. Wessels himself was responsible for Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 when he was with EA Black Box.

A press release sent out says the group has partnered with Activision to release an “action-based game set in Hong Kong”. A job vacancy listing, made last month, shows that the group is creating two original properties for the Xbox 360 and PS3.

“We make games because we are entertainers,” said the job offer. “We place enormous expectations on ourselves because over the past two decades, this crew has led development of various multi-million selling games for several other publishers. We love what we do, and we will continue to create top rated titles.”

The developer is 100 percent employee-owned.