IO Interactive has officially opened a new studio in the United Kingdom, to expand development on its upcoming Project 007, a James Bond adaptation, and Project Fantasy, an online RPG set in a magical world. The new IO Interactive team will be based in Brighton, England, and hiring has reportedly already begun.
The opening of the new studio ensures IO Interactive will become a more global brand, with developers based in Copenhagen, Malmö, Istanbul, Barcelona, and now Brighton.
‘We have had this strategy for a while, from before coronavirus times, to meet talent where they are,’ Hakan Abrak, CEO of IO Interactive told GamesIndustry of the new studio opening. ‘But not just hiring freelancers around the world, but opening studios where we think the ideal conditions are there, in terms of an attractive location, with lots of talent and lots of potential.’
‘All of these cities [we’ve opened in] have something special to offer … They’re dynamic cities that you want to live in. But also, they have a lot of potential with either established AAA talent, or they have an upcoming talent pool. Brighton has a bright future in the video games industry. It’s something that will continue to expand.’
IO reportedly chose Brighton as it’s an area with established game development studios, and a high degree of game development talent. Speaking to GamesIndustry, Abrak noted other high-profile studios have already set up shop in Brighton, like Creative Assembly (Total War, Alien: Isolation).
Leamington Spa, Newcastle, and Edinburgh were also considered in the hunt for new studio locations, but Abrak says ‘the energy was right with Brighton.’
The connection between the UK and the studio’s upcoming James Bond adaptation was also considered. Given the James Bond franchise is famously centred on a British intelligence agency, having developers based in the UK made sense. It’s likely they’ll bring a real authenticity to the game, which is currently in development.
‘The main reason why we are here is because of that rich history,’ Abrak said. ‘It’s very clear that there is just a huge talent pool in the UK, and the studios that are in Brighton are making games that aren’t dissimilar to the things we’re doing.’
You can read more about the new studio’s formation over on GamesIndustry.