Former veteran staff from Lab Zero Games have announced the formation of a new development studio – Future Club.
The news comes after the majority – if not all – development staff at Skullgirls developer Lab Zero Games were either fired or quit in protest. The new studio is being helmed by 15 veteran developers including designers, artists, and programmers.
One of the key differences between Future Club and Lab Zero Games is that while the latter is wholly owned by Mike Zaimont, the former is employee owned and driven totally by the input of all their employees. Their mission statement includes: “creating games with handcrafted art and traditional 2D animation, engaging and responsive gameplay, and unique and memorable worlds.”
“We wanted to start fresh with a company structure that was worker owned and gave everyone a say in the future of our organization,” CEO and producer Francesca Esquenazi said in a press release. “Future Club is an employee-owned cooperative game development studio, established with the belief that strong teams are greater than the sum of their parts. We value open, honest communication with peers, partners and players, and take pride in our strength as a team. I’m very excited to continue leading and working with such an incredibly talented and passionate team of game developers.”
Senior animator Jonathan Kim added, “We love classic games and are mega influenced by them, but we picked the name Future Club because we want to think of the future too. We want to make games that inspire kids and adults as much as our old favorites inspired us. 2D hand drawn animation has a long future ahead of it, and we want to see how far we can push the medium. Like the games that influenced us, our goal is to create games that are compelling and beautiful enough to be remembered long after their time.”