When Xbox bought Activision Blizzard and Sony acquired Bungie to start in 2022, it unleashed a wave of frenzied speculation among industry observers. Suddenly, it looks like no buybacks are off the table.
In such an environment, the Iron Galaxy would seem an ideal target for a large platform owner. In addition to being a popular studio for hire, Iron Galaxy has also worked on popular series like Uncharted and Killer Instinct, and CEO Adam Boyes has a direct connection to PlayStation.
For now, however, Iron Galaxy seems happy to be independent.
“[S]o many doors are open and I love that,” Boyes told IGN. And because we’re independent, we have the ability to continue that journey of freedom and test it all out and see what builds on our values as a company. ”
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Boyes, an active game developer who is notable as Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Vice President of Publisher and Developer Relations, likens the current acquisition craze to his childhood in British Columbia, where his father was a lumberjack. In fact, he said, platform holders like Microsoft and Sony are clearly competing, in the process creating platforms that can attract new studios.
Iron Galaxy is in a good position, he said. Boyes said: “Before we like, we have to get this or we have to get that. “We have some freedom to work on new stuff. So that part of it is great.”
Originally founded in 2008, Iron Galaxy soon found successful sports games like Bionic Commando and Bioshock 2 before releasing Divekick in 2013. Iron Galaxy expanded to Orlando in 2012, and standard opened a third studio in Nashville in an effort to “exploit another pond” and attract new talent.Iron Galaxy co-founder Dave Lang said the early days of the studio’s founding were “discomfort”, which Chelsea Blasko, the third member of Iron Galaxy’s executive trio, joked that was offensive.
Blasko, Lang, and Boyes form a humorous trio that revolves around each other’s comments and talks quickly on a variety of topics. Boyes joked that he was an optimist, Blasko was a realist and Lang was a pessimist. Boyes joined the group after leaving SIE in 2016, partly because he wanted to return to active development.
While Iron Galaxy has grown significantly over the past decade, its three executives still feel far removed from the company. Lang wore his familiar cap and hoodie, and Boyes wore a beard. They feel comfortable discussing Iron Galaxy’s recent development, as well as early projects like the Rumbleverse, which Boyes says has been delayed in part to give it “more content, more modes more degrees, more things…make sure everything is super polished and amazing.”
Iron Galaxy has managed to stay busy throughout the pandemic, its most recent release being Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection, which was released on PS5 in January. When asked how it feels to work with Naughty Dog, the team talks about how Iron Galaxy programmers are “envious of how beautiful Naughty Dog’s code is”.
“The last thing I want to do is talk to Naughty Dog. Right? But I think looking at that code, you can see decades of work in that code and that’s what their game is all about. It’s so different,” Lang said.
“It’s ingenuity,” Boyes agreed.
“That’s right. It’s evolving the game in its own way in a way that most aren’t, right? Doesn’t make it intrinsically better, doesn’t make it intrinsically worse, but that’s it. Naughty Dog. And I think my highest appreciation for them is that their dedication to the approach they’re taking is being really humbling in a way.”
Other recent Iron Galaxy projects include the Spyro Reignited Trilogy, which it ported to PC, as well as Diablo III and Overwatch for the Nintendo Switch. Iron Galaxy ports and reworks are like workers in that they rarely add unique features —although the Legacy of Thieves Collection has added some cool DualSense functionality —but overall still running fine. In an industry that likes to promote studios as rock bands, Iron Galaxy is like the roadblocks, there to do less flashy work while other groups get more attention.
The challenge, Lang said, is “real financial independence.” Iron Galaxy still depends on finding partners and getting paid on time. That’s the price of freedom for a studio like Iron Galaxy, Lang said. But one way or another, the past decade has been good for Iron Galaxy, as evidenced by the studio’s expansion of Nashville. This has allowed Iron Galaxy to go its own way even amid a frenzy of acquisitions.
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“I think people think about one-way acquisitions, and it’s really a two-way street. Every time someone is acquired, Microsoft still needs games to surpass the game. Capcom needs to publish games. Everyone needs games, and now that fewer and fewer people can make them, it’s really super valuable to maintain independence in a weird way that’s not really… It’s counterintuitive. sense, right?” Lang said.
“And so I think we’re enjoying being the prettiest at the prom. We’re really pretty, we’re doing what we do and we don’t really feel pressured to have to. do whatever. That’s pretty cool.”
Kat Bailey is Senior News Editor at IGN
https://www.ign.com/articles/iron-galaxy-acquisitions Why Iron Galaxy is happy to stay independent amid the gaming industry’s acquisition craze