We have been pretty much in stealth mode since we started as a four-man team back in June of 2011. Late last year we announced that we are working on a First-Person “social” Shooter. A lot of folks have asked, “What the hell is that”? That’s a good question, and simply put, we intend on bringing back the fun that we all experienced when FPS’s first arrived on the scene. In those days, we were all near each other in the same office on the same network, or at LAN parties or other events. We knew the ability to play with friends was central to our experience and made the game more fun for all of us. Games have become much more complex since then, and while you still can play with your friends; the games are difficult to set up, costly, and not focused on CORE multiplayer features, social interaction, and gameplay. We aim to change that dynamic.
After working on a huge-scale, subscription-based MMO for several years at SOE Seattle there was a group us who all realized THAT was not the direction games were headed. Instead, we envisioned a free-to-play game, particularly a shooter that would include an irreverent mash-up of our favorite game themes. Dusty Welch, a fellow ex-Activision alum who led the success of both the Call of Duty and Guitar Hero franchises, had the same idea so we teamed up and U4iA Games was born!
At U4iA, we wanted our game to be free, but we also wanted to let players buy and rent items to customize their experience. We wanted it to be much more than the typical low-end visuals that gamers had come to expect in free-to-play titles, and be of true “AAA” console quality instead. As if that wasn’t a difficult enough task already, we also decided to do all of this in a browser, so players could, at a click of a button, play a top-of-the-line experience for free… AND literally immediate! No waiting, just instant high-quality, e-sport level competition and gameplay.
So here we are today, less than a year later, heading into the FIRST reveal of Offensive Combat, most of the work so far was done by an average of 10 developers (we are now at a whopping 18!). That’s right, not the usual 100+ developers, just a handful of amazing developers making a free-to-play, console-quality, browser-based, multiplayer FPS to compete with the big boys. We did it, but not without a lot of help from some great products including Unity and Photon, some great investors that have let us be creative, a brand new and cutting edge “scrappy agile” project management and production system, and the best team I have ever worked with. We’re not done yet, but we are well on our way!
All of us at U4iA Games are proud of the work so far and we’re excited for all of you to get your hands on our debut genre-defining, online, free-to-play game due later this year. You really should sign up for our Beta. You won’t regret it.
I have a question for the group: What does “AAA” mean to you?
– Chris Archer (CCO, Studio Head)
— Future blog(s): How to make Console Quality, AAA without a massive budget, massive team, or a lot of time.