BreakAway, Ltd., the Hunt Valley, MD-based computer game company, announced today that it has opened a new development studio in Austin, Texas.
BreakAway’s decision was spurred by the tremendous growth the company has experienced in both its government and entertainment divisions over the past year. BreakAway has seen revenues jump 50 percent since the start of 2004, while the company has added more than 20 new employees during the past six months.
"Austin is nationally known as a creative community and hotbed for gaming talent," notes BreakAway founder and CEO Doug Whatley. "Given the current demand for our services and our rapid expansion, it simply made sense for us to open a studio where the kind of experienced personnel we need are readily available."
Austin is home to a number of gaming companies that focus on three of the industry’s fastest growing sectors: multiplayer games that connect thousands of people around the world; mobile games that can be played on cell phones; and games that run on console machines such as PlayStation 2 and XBox.
BreakAway’s Austin studio will be run by industry veteran Mike McShaffry. Author of Game Coding Complete, McShaffry began his game career at Origin Systems in 1990, where he contributed to titles like Martian Dreams, Ultima VII, VIII, and IX, and Ultima Online. He co-founded Compulsive Development in 2000 (later acquired by Glass Eye Entertainment), and broke into AAA cross-platform console development at Ion Storm on the Thief: Deadly Shadows project that shipped this summer.
Under McShaffry’s leadership, BreakAway’s Austin studio is expected to focus on military game simulations and original console titles.
"This is a very exciting move for BreakAway," says Whatley. "Our long-term growth strategy requires expansion, new talent, and new projects, and our Austin studio is the latest step in making that strategy a reality. We are committed to making BreakAway the premier serious game development company in the country."