Senior developers Lee Hutchinson and Matt Shepcar have left Rockstar Leeds to start their own independent studio, Double 11, to focus on smaller projects, like iPhone games.
"I think that a lot of developers are sick of huge all encompassing next-gen projects and want to get back to grass-roots bedroom coding like it was in the 80's and is for a lot of iPhone developers today,” Hutchinson tells UK trade site Develop
Hutchison in particular has worked on multiple Rockstar iPhone games, including the acclaimed Chinatown Wars
. Shepcar, departing Leeds in a few weeks, worked on a number of Grand Theft Auto
Asked about recent controversy over alleged quality-of-life issues
at Rockstar, specifically at the developer's San Diego studio, Hutchinson stressed his exit from Leeds was "very, very amicable" and not related to the working standards allegations.
"Rockstar Leeds and the spouse allegations had no effect on our decisions to leave,” he says, saying the departure of both himself and Shepcar is occurring on "very good terms."