Assassin’s Creed is one of the top video game franchises in the world, and has sold millions of copies worldwide. And 2017’s Assassin’s Creed Origins sure was a superb game, featuring great characters, gameplay and a fantastic recreation of ancient Egypt.
Part of what made the game so engaging was its terrific voice cast, with the actor playing protagonist Bayek of Siwa (Abubakar Salim) doing a particularly good job.
And early last week the British actor had Assassin’s Creed fans on their toes when he said “some mighty reveals and announcements coming to you all this week” in a tweet.
Some thought that Salim’s tweet was related to Assassin’s Creed. After all, Ubisoft is yet to reveal its next Assassin’s Creed game, which rumors said will be set during the time of the Vikings and will be titled Assassin’s Creed Ragnarok.
Salim, though, wasn’t referring to any Ubisoft announcements in his tweet, but rather the fact that he is starting his own studio as was recently reported on gamesindustry.biz (via playstationlifestyle.net).
“I’m opening a studio where I want to make games that tell cool stories and have innovative gameplay, but I know I can’t do that by myself. I need a team of people who know what they’re doing, and who are as passionate as I am about making games”, Salim told Games Industry.
The actor’s new studio will be named Silver Rain Games, and Salim said his experience working on Assassin’s Creed Origins convinced him of the importance of putting together a team with the right skills and passion to develop a game.
“I’ve played that series from the beginning, so to then talk to the programmers, designers, writers, artists, even the testers, and getting to test it myself and to understand what it takes to make a game… it made me realize that there’s a lot of different factors involved”, said Salim.
He compared this teamwork aspect of making a video game to his work on TV, where the actor has played roles in series such as Black Mirror and will star in Ridley Scott’s upcoming Raised by Wolves.
“It’s the same with film and TV. I can turn around as an actor and be like, ‘Well, I’m going to make a short film’, but you need the camera operator, you need a director, you need a producer”, said Salim.
In setting up Silver Rain Games, Salim is drawing inspiration from Ubisoft’s process with Assassin’s Creed Origins, and how the story and world were the key of that project, which according to Salim “supported the actual creation of the game, from the mechanics to the art and the sound”, with the British actor adding that “it all came from the story, and that core feeling of seeing the pitch of what they were trying to do with Origins”.
However, attempting to emulate Ubisoft might be something of a lofty goal for Silver Rain Games, a studio which is only likely to be able to count on a handful of developers at launch.
Ubisoft, meanwhile, is one of the top publishers and development companies in the world, boasting several studios all around the world and teams of hundreds working on their games, and has poured millions into making the Assassin’s Creed games to date.
Excessive ambition is something that can sink any new studio as has been the case in the past, and it would be a good thing for Silver Rain Games not to overshoot with its first game, and have more modest aims.
At least Salim can count on Melissa Phillips as studio head, someone who was previously a BAFTA games program manager, meaning we might be getting a good game or two from Silver Rain in the future.
Here’s hoping that is the case, and that this is a video game studio that we get to hear good news from in the years to come.