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Irrational, Harmonix vets come together to make games that big studios wouldn't touch

Irrational, Harmonix vets come together to make games that big studios wouldn't touch

May 14, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

Veterans from Irrational Games and Harmonix have formed Eerie Canal Entertainment, a new independent developer that wants to focus specifically on working with eccentric game ideas.

Made up of developers who've worked on popular franchises like BioShock and Rock Band, Eerie Canal emphasizes that it wants to make "creative and inspired games that are too risky [for] large studios."

"I've been working on AAA titles in the games industry for over 10 years now, and I love being able to work on a piece of fiction that no big studio would touch because it's so out there," says Bryn Bennett, former lead programmer at Irrational Games, Iron Lore, and Harmonix.

Bennett is joined by former Irrational and Harmonix lead artist Steven Kimura, Harmonix audio lead Arthur Inasi, and Harmonix artists Aaron DeMuth and Mallika Sundaramurthy.

Their first game is Dreadline, an action RPG/real-time strategy hybrid in which players control a team of monsters that kill humans who are already doomed to die, such as victims of the Titanic. The team describes it as a mash-up of Diablo and Freedom Force.

Eerie Canal has worked on Dreadline for six months now, building it on a new in-house game engine codenamed "shoe_gazer." The studio expects to release the title in the first quarter of 2013 for PC. A trailer for the game is available to watch here.

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