While the future of VR is undoubtedly wide open at the moment, the majority of contenders clearly see the battle playing out on gaming computers and home consoles. Starbreeze, for its part, is making its play on a high-end headset, destined for amusement parks and IMAX theaters. While it feels like a bit of a…
Starbreeze Studios is a video game development studio and publisher, based in Stockholm, Sweden. Notable games developed include The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, Payday 2 and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.
Founded by members of the demogroup Triton, the company was merged with O3 Games in 2002 but the name Starbreeze was retained. The company produced titles including Enclave and Knights of the Temple: Infernal Crusade. In the early 2000s, cancellations of their projects due to conflicts with publishers, and a failed acquisition, led to a severe financial crisis, resulting in staff lay-offs during the development of Starbreeze’s fourth game, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay. This game received critical acclaim and helped Starbreeze establish a reputation for producing a good licensed game. The company worked on The Darkness, whose sales were considered satisfactory.
Starbreeze partnered with Electronic Arts to develop a reboot to the Syndicate series, but it ended up being a commercial failure, and many staff members moved to rival company MachineGames, established by Starbreeze’s founders. As a result, the company shifted part of its focus on developing smaller games, such as Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. Starbreeze began expanding the company in 2012 with its acquisition of Overkill Software. Overkill’s first title after the acquisition, Payday 2, helped Starbreeze make a record profit after suffering an accumulated loss of $14.4 million since its inception. In 2015, the company announced that it would start publishing video games from independent developers, and that it had begun the development of a virtual reality headset named Project Star VR.