Lightforge Games is a new game development studio specializing in creating AAA RPG experiences. Formed by a number of ex-Blizzard and Epic developers, the all-remote studio is currently at work developing a new cross-platform RPG title that they hope will “revolutionize RPGs.”
Lightforge’s dev team has quite a bit of experience in the AAA space, with major titles including World of Warcraft, Overwatch, The Elder Scrolls Online, and Fortnite among the games they’ve worked on. Its founders are Matt Schembari (former UI Director at Epic), Nathan Fairbanks (former Project Manager and Producer at BioWare, Epic, and ZeniMax Online), Glenn Rane (former Art Director at Blizzard), Marc Hutcheson (former Brand Manager and Marketing Director at both Blizzard and Epic), and Dan Hertzka.
The new outfit successfully raised $5 million from a number of investors and companies. Of note is Dreamhaven, a publisher and developer of indie games formed by Mike Morhaime, one of the original founders of Blizzard. Morhaime says that Lightforge Games “has a lot of potential.”
Lightforge Games has recently added a few more members to its team, many of which also come from big gaming studios. Among them are Bridget Collins (former Game Designer at Blizzard), Donal MacCarthy and Josh Gross (both former Software Engineers at Epic), and Jarred Everson (former Character Artist at Blizzard). The dev studio is still looking to expand their roster, specifically a lead animator and community manager.
CEO Matt Schembari on Lightforge Games: “”We all love highly social, creative games, and we particularly love games where players drive the narrative. We are looking to combine elements from Minecraft or Roblox with tabletop RPGs to form a new way to play roleplaying games. Given our backgrounds, making a game that looks to revolutionize RPGs was an obvious choice.”
What Lightforge Games means by “revolutionize” remains to be seen, but considering the pedigree of its developers, expectations are high.
This isn’t the first time former big-name studio developers have broken away from their companies to form an indie outfit. Previously, Carbine Studios, a developer also founded by former Blizzard devs, failed to meet expectations with their RPG Wildstar.