AAA Game Developer “ProbablyMonsters” Formed

A new AAA game development studio, ProbablyMonsters, has been formed.

The new company is being led by CEO and founder Harold Ryan, and will be comprised of two internal development studios, Cauldron Studios and Firewalk Studios. Each studio is already working on their own “inaugural AAA game franchise”, which has already been greenlit by “separate major publishers.”

The company is described as a “new category of game company for the next generation of gaming,” and is neither a traditional game developer nor a publisher.

Here’s a rundown on the company and its staff:

ProbablyMonsters has assembled an exceptional team of leaders, including Lonnye Bower, COO, an engineering leader experienced in large scale projects who was formerly Worldwide Technical Lead at Microsoft. Fiscal management and strategic planning expertise is provided by Douglas Kikendall, CFO, formerly CFO at TheTVDB.com and Oak Harbor Capital. HR and recruiting is overseen by Shannon Armstrong, Chief People Office, an HR leader with over 20 years of experience who was formerly Senior Recruiting Manager at Amazon.

  • Firewalk Studios (building world-class multiplayer experiences) is headed by Tony Hsu, previously SVP and General Manager of the Destiny Business Unit at Activision Publishing. Hsu is a champion of new gaming IP and has extensive gaming and strategy experience including the massive launches of Destiny and Call of Duty: Black Ops. Firewalk’s Game Director is Ryan Ellis, formerly Creative Director at Bungie and Lead Artist at Oddworld Inhabitants.
  • Cauldron Studios (storytelling at the heart of every experience we craft) is headed by Dave Matthews, who has over 20 years of experience managing AAA teams while helping build franchises like God of War and Myst. Matthews was formerly Lead Character Artist at Sony Computer Entertainment of America and Art Director at Bungie and WB Games. Game Director for Cauldron Studios is CJ Cowan, who was previously the Story Lead for Destiny’s “House of Wolves” and “Taken King” releases, and Bungie’s Director of Cinematics for the bulk of their Halo titles.

ProbablyMonsters, located in scenic Issaquah, Washington, is committed to building a positive creative culture where game developers can thrive while creating and shipping original AAA games. In July 2019, ProbablyMonsters closed a private $18.8 million Series A round led by Jerry Jones, Owner / President / General Manager of the Dallas Cowboys, and John Goff, Founder and Chairman of Crescent Real Estate and Goff Capital; Luther King Capital Management affiliates; gaming executive and venture capitalist David Oxford; among other private investors, to fund its ongoing growth.

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