Studio Profile: Rebellion

Studio Profile: Rebellion
Michael French

By Michael French

February 5th 2007 at 4:45PM

Throughout February, is profiling some of the biggest, most interesting, and influential studios in the UK and Europe as part of the recruitment special in our print counterpart this month. Today, we kick things off with Rebellion...

For Rebellion, the past 12 months have represented something of a watershed year.

In that time the Oxford HQ'd developer expanded significantly, snapping up the Core Design and Strangelite teams from Eidos and Empire and switching from a single-base studio to a multi-site one in a matter of months - so the studio now has offices in Derby and Liverpool, too.

Elsewhere, the studio saw another game spun off from the 2000AD comic publishing house it owns (purchased in 2000), Rogue Trooper for SCi. And to cap it off, all that activity was highlighted with a Develop Award for 'most improved studio' and two BAFTA nominations for Rogue Trooper.

"Exciting best sums up the last 12 months," says CEO and creative director Jason Kingsley when discussing the past year's activity.

He attributes the company's success to it "continual focus on product quality and innovation" as well as the quality of talent fast-growing number of troops the rebellion commands. Although staff levels are currently at 250, the number jumps higher when you consider the company's freelance talent - and will keep rising thanks to a recent recruitment campaign.

When asked about how the growing the company is dealing with the stresses of a growing industry, chief technical officer Chris Kingsley points to the company's proprietary Asura engine as being one key element to the company's success story.

"The technology is producing results for next-gen games which we'd never imagined, so we're incredibly pleased with that."

Asura also supports another part of the Rebellion strategy, he adds, namely "our IP ownership and stewardship, which is essential when dealing with publisher brands."

For the team that counts achieving a number one hit via Aliens vs Predator as a key milestone in its history, this is an important point. While the company has of late focused on games based on IP the studio owns (either original or 2000AD-based), it's done brisk business with two PSP titles developed last year based publisher-held properties; EA's From Russia With Love and Vivendi's Miami Vice joined a stable of Rebellion titles that includes original games Sniper Elite from 2005 and the recently-finished Freerunning, which is heading for a release next month.

So what's next? From a territorial point of view, there seems no stopping the expansion - the Oxford team is moving into new premises to make room for the influx of newcomers, staff needed to help develop the three next-gen games the company has on its production slate.

Explains CTO Kingsley: "We have an active recruitment policy where we're inviting programmers and designers, from industry veterans to talented new-comers, to join us, as we can offer a rewarding career choice where everyone has the opportunity to add value to our games and service."

FACTFILE: Rebellion
Founded: 1992
Number of Employees: 250
Key Contacts: Jason Kingsley, CEO and Creative Director; Chris Kingsley, CTO.
Recent Softography: 2006: Miami Vice, Rogue Trooper, GUN Showdown, James Bond: From Russia with Love; 2005: Sniper Elite, Delta Force: Black Hawk Down, Dead to Rights: Reckoning.