Gaming

2K Games’ 31st Union, led by Dead Space veteran, will make original games

Unions 1 through 30 just weren’t enough.

Last year, Sledgehammer and Visceral Games veteran Michael Condrey founded a new studio at 2K Games. That studio now has a name, 31st Union, and it will develop an original game rather than assist with current franchises.

Though 31st Union has not shared its first project, it will be “an ambitious and inspired new IP” according to Condrey in an announcement post. This will be its only project for a while, and the studio hopes its anticipated global expansion will bring diverse voices and perspectives.

The studio is based in Silicon Valley, California, and will expand with a second Spanish location.

“Our name and studio represent the spirit of California in its rich diversity of thought, art, music, innovation, and cultural representation that have defined the current golden age of entertainment and technology here in Silicon Valley,” Condrey added.

Given that the studio’s recent founding and the ambiguous language surrounding its unveiling, it will likely be some time before 2K Games is ready to share more information on its project. It’s hiring across several departments, including game design, animation, producing, engineering, and art.

Condrey’s resume spans the gamut of action/adventure games, though he’s most known for military shooters and survival horror. Neither genre is part of 2K Games’ current lineup, but this hasn’t always been the case. It published the cult hit Spec Ops: The Line, but the game’s third-person shooting was among its biggest drawbacks. With Condrey’s expertise in action, a new shooter IP would likely nail combat, should 31st Union choose to develop one.

Following Condrey’s exit from Sledgehammer Games in 2019, hist co-founder Glen Schofield also left the studio. Schofield became CEO of Striking Distance Studios, a new developer created by PUBG Corporation. He will not be working on PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, but his game is set in the same universe. The pair’s last game with Sledgehammer was Call of Duty: WWII

Before founding Sledgehammer, Condrey and Schofield worked at Visceral Games and co-created Dead Space, which received two sequels and multiple spinoffs. The studio also assisted with the Battlefield series and developed Dante’s Inferno before Visceral Games was ultimately shuttered in 2017.

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