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Starbreeze Studios AB

Overview

Starbreeze Studios AB is a Sweden-based games development studio founded in 1999. The company develops computer and television games on pre-financed assignments from major game publishers. The publisher usually owns the rights to the production and carries the financial risk. If a game does well in the marketplace Starbreeze obtains additional sales-royalties after the pre-finance amount has been covered for the publisher.

In 2001 the company merged into O3 Games as their games development and R&D department. In November, the parent company was renamed Starbreeze AB, of which Starbreeze Studios AB is now a wholly-owned subsidiary.

The company released its first game, Enclave (Windows/Xbox) in 2002, followed by Knights of the Temple: Infernal Crusade (Xbox/PS2/GameCube/Windows) in 2004, along with the movie-licensed The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (Windows/Xbox) in 2004. The company's first two games received favourable reviews, but it was the acclaim for the Riddick first-person shooter that really established Starbreeze Studios internationally.

The company's next game, The Darkness (Xbox 360/PS3), was another first-person shooter and is based on a comic book license. Released in 2007, it is the only Starbreeze game not to be released on the Windows platform.

In 2009 the studio returned to the Riddick license with the sequel The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena developed together with Tigon Studios and in 2012 they released another first-person shooter, Syndicate, for Electronic Arts, as a reboot of the Bullfrog series from the nineties. It was the last game of the company developed using an in-house engine, as they signed with Epic Games in February 2011 to use the UnrealEngine for all future projects.

In 2009 seven members left the company to found the development studio MachineGames Sweden AB. It was partly prompted by the rough development process of Syndicate, as the project went through several overhauls before it was released.

In April 2012 the company announced to acquire the Swedish studio SLG Everscreen AB (better known as Overkill Software). The transaction was completed on 21st June 2012 when Starbreeze acquired all shares from Varvtre AB. Through the acquisition, Varvtre raised its stake in Starbreeze from zero to 200 million shares (14,5%). On 9th February 2013 the name of the acquired studio was officially changed to Starbreeze Production AB, but it still refers to itself publicly as Overkill Software.


Contributed by Xoleras (66247) on Oct 25, 2005. [revised by : Sciere (245760)].