Smilegate, the South Korean video game company known for its blockbuster CROSSFIRE franchise and the critically acclaimed hit MMORPG Lost Ark, announced their $3.5 million seed investment in Postcard Game Studio. Based in Irvine, California, Postcard Game Studio is a new AAA video game development studio founded by industry veterans that have worked with Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox, Ubisoft, and Electronic Arts.
Postcard Game Studio brings together a team of video game industry veterans, with an established track-record in building critically acclaimed first person, open-world experiences, known for their strong narratives and rewarding exploration. The studio is currently developing an unannounced open world, first-person shooter role-playing game. In this one-of-a-kind, action-adventure, science fiction universe, users will take on the role of unique heroes exploring a mysterious, beautiful world, experiencing exciting adventures and interacting with a diverse cast of novel NPCs.
“Setting up an independent games studio has been a dream project for some time, providing our incredibly talented team with full creative freedom to design an ambitious video game. Knowing the game we’re going to make alongside the studio and culture we’re building, this will provide us with an opportunity to take our years of experience to the next level, especially with the support of Smilegate, who is helping to achieve our vision. With their massive industry success and expertise in enabling developers to perform their best work, they’re truly the perfect collaborator,” said Postcard Game Studio founder Ray Almaden.
“When we connected with the team at Postcard Game Studio and understood Ray Almaden’s vision for a truly original open-world FPS RPG, it was clear that our ambitions and core values were aligned. Investing in Ray’s studio will help Smilegate continue our expansion within the Western market. Smilegate will continue to discover and invest in talented developers to develop franchises that can be loved by game fans around the world,” said Smilegate VP of business development Harold Kim.
Postcard Game Studio is led by CEO and game director Ray Almaden, who has 17 years of experience designing AAA games for Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox, Ubisoft and Electronic Arts. His design handiwork has made its mark across titles such as Splinter Cell: Double Agent, Killzone 2, Halo 4, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and The Last of Us: Part II, culminating in an assistant game director role on Guerrilla Game’s latest release, Horizon Forbidden West.
The studio has now opened operations with a team of key developers ready to bring the next great AAA game to players, including Ariadna C. Martinez (formerly of Guerrilla Games, working as a writer on Horizon Forbidden West) serving as Narrative Director; Glen Darroch (formerly of Rockstar, Blizzard, Turtle Rock Studios and Blind Squirrel Games) serving as Studio Technical Director; Justin Lippert (formerly of 343 Industries, working as a developer on Halo 4, Halo 5 and Halo Infinite) serving as lead designer.
The team also includes Martin Teichmann (formerly of Crytek, Rocksteady, Naughty Dog and Blizzard, working on games such as Crysis 2, Batman Arkham Knight, The Last of Us: Part II and Diablo IV) serving as lead environment artist; Dan Callan (formerly of Bungie, Insomniac, 343 Industries, Square Enix, working on games such as Halo 4, Destiny 2 and Forspoken) serving as lead level designer; Tommy Blashaw (formerly of Ready at Dawn, working on games such as The Order: 1866, Lone Echo and Lone Echo 2.) serving as lead producer; and Lizzie Siegel (formerly of Iron Galaxy and Guerrilla Games, working on Horizon Forbidden West) serving as lead quest designer.
Postcard Game Studio is the second Western studio Smilegate has invested in. The first was That’s No Moon Entertainment, in July of last year. The studio is currently filling roles across all disciplines, building a diverse team of developers, with a range of experience levels.