With Disney Infinity canceled and Disney shuttering its developer, Avalanche Software, about 300 people were left out of work, but a handful of developers have found a new home making “mixed reality” games at CastAR.
CastAR, an augmented reality developer founded in 2011, will see an additional Salt Lake City studio open, adding more than 30 employees and doubling the size of the company, though this is only a fraction of those affected by the Avalanche Software layoffs.
“Our new CastAR SLC team has creatively inspired talent that has delivered at the highest levels of quality. We’re excited to have them join us in creating a new generation of gaming through mixed reality experiences,” said CastAR president and COO Steve Parkis in a statement obtained by Polygon. “With their experience in bringing massive franchises to life through breakthrough interactive design, the addition of this team is our next bold step in launching a dynamic platform that will bring awe-inspiring mixed reality to households.”
The wording of this statement, particularly the usage of “massive franchises,” suggests that CastAR may be developing a game based on an existing license. Thus far, the company has been experimenting with technology similar to Microsoft’s HoloLens, allowing for board games to warp and evolve on a tabletop in front of players, and the company thinks it will eventually even develop virtual playing pieces. The CastAR headset will also support online play, so you can battle with strangers while you work together with your real-life friends to play the perfect move.
Just last month, CastAR hired former LucasArts executive Darrell Rodriguez as its CEO, so the Avalanche Software news seems like a perfect pairing. LucasArts also suffered a high-profile cancellation when its doors were closed, with the action-adventure game Star Wars: 1313 riding into the sunset as Electronic Arts took over the majority of Star Wars game development.