Epic Games and People Can Fly have had their hands all over each other since before Bulletstorm, but finally got a room at the beginning of August. Not on board with the buyout were key creative types Adrian Chmielarz, Andrzej Poznanski, and Michal Kosieradzki, although their departures were reported to be “amiable” at the time - though not ‘amicable’, as is usually the case in these scenarios.
Anyway. Word is these three drifting directors have washed ashore, and they’re calling themselves The Astronauts.
The Astronauts have announced a long-term licensing deal with Epic to use their Unreal Engine 3 for the new studio’s games. The first is already in development, and due out in 2013.
"We've worked with UE3 for the last six years, and we know its power," says Chmielarz in a statement. "Choosing Unreal Engine technology for our future was the textbook definition of a no-brainer. We are on a quest to map uncharted waters, and Epic's tech provides the stability required for success."
Nothing yet on what to expect next year, but don’t be so sure it’s an FPS. During Gears of War Judgment promotion Chmierlarz was often heard musing on Skyrim’s emergence, and has talked in the past about being pigeonholed at People Can Fly.
“It is actually very hard, because once you are successful with a shooter, like we were initially with Painkiller, then nobody wants anything else from you,” Chmierlarz told Game Informer in June. “Actually, there is this action-adventure game that we really, really want to do. Everybody’s like: ‘That’s very interesting. Do you have any shooters?’”
What would you like to see ooze compellingly from the great minds behind Bulletstorm?