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Payday 2 lead takes the money and runs to start a new studio

David Goldfarb, game director of the fantastic co-op heist game Payday 2, told Polygon that he is leaving Overkill Software to start his own, independent studio in Stockholm.

His departure from Overkill was apparently on friendly term, and he believes the studio to be excellently positioned to continue succeeding. Prior to joining Overkill in 2012, Goldfarb spent over a decade in various AAA studios, working on titles such as Mirror’s Edge and Battlefield 3. In his pre-industry life Goldfarb was a poet and writer, and after 15 years of working on other people’s projects he hopes to regain some of that creative autonomy in a way that would be impossible working for mainstream publishers.

I worked my away into the industry against all odds and once I had gotten there I realised I wasn’t really happy doing it and the stuff I was really good at was really hard to quantify. Especially in these big industries where their vested interest is really not maximizing who you are as a person or as an artist even. Companies make you less than you are the bigger they are. That’s just a rule. They’re not evil, that’s just how they are, it’s like a physics lesson.”

Goldfarb offered few specifics of what his team of four developers has been up to so far, but he was quite clear that he intends to avoid well-trodden paths and find genres that he can “subvert.”

“No MOBAs, no comic book styled art, no pixel art. Like, those are things I will not do. And there’s nothing wrong with those things, those things are all awesome, I just don’t want to do any of them.”

The one positive hint of what he might be working on came with: “I love role-playing games so I will probably make one.”

The AAA developer striking out into the indie wilderness to fulfill his creative dreams has become a common trope these days, and one that I’m always happy to see. Goldfarb is a thoughtful developer with a proven track record for solid games, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on what he comes up with in the coming months.

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