France-based game developer Arkane Studios, best known for creating the RPG Arx Fatalis for the PC and Xbox, as well as Ubisoft's upcoming PC RPG Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, has opened up a new studio in Austin, Texas, according to information on the developer's contact page.
Arkane was founded in 1999 in Lyon, France by a number of experienced developers who came from studios such as Atari and Electronic Arts, headed by CEO and creative director Raphael Colantonio.
A year later the company unveiled a demo for what would later become the PC version of Arx Fatalis, which was published by Jowood in 2002. An Xbox version of the game was later published by DreamCatcher the following year.
During that same time period, the company met with Valve, and was granted use of Valve's Source Engine for the company's next project, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic for Ubisoft. The first-person action RPG is currently in development, and is expected to ship later in 2006.
It is currently unknown if development for Arkane's announced game is taking place at the company's newly opened U.S. branch, whose existence was first spotted by consumer game site FiringSquad, or if the company is currently staffing for an as-yet-undisclosed project.