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After leaving Respawn Entertainment and Electronic Arts on September 13, 2023, Stig Asmussen has formed a new independent AAA studio called Giant Skull. The studio is based in Los Angeles but has remote employees scattered all over the world.

God Of War 3 Director Stig Asmussen Launches Giant Skull, Their Website Is The Craziest Thing You’ve Seen

Giant Skull is described as a “new AAA game studio dedicated to building gameplay-driven, story-immersed action-adventure games set in captivating worlds”. The studio is already working on its first “AAA single-player focused action adventure” using Unreal Engine 5. The project is being led by Asmussen.

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Joining Asmussen in Giant Skull are other industry veterans including co-founder Jeff Magers, former design director on Star Wars: Jedi. Magers and Asmussen share a lot in common. Both worked at Sony Santa Monica and Respawn. Following their track record of success in previous AAA projects, it would be interesting to see what Giant Skull will cook up.

The executives at Giant Skull are all people who worked on highly successful titles. Jon Carr will join Giant Skull as CTO. Carr also previously worked on Star Wars Jedi: Survivor as a technical director. Other industry veterans that would be joining Giant Skull include;

  • Art director Patrick Murphy (worked as art director for Valorant and Fortnite)
  • Lead producer Lauren McLemore (worked as lead producer on Fortnite)
  • Animation director Brian Campbell (worked at Epic Games as an animation director)
  • COO/CFO Anthony Scott has more than 16 years of experience running teams including Rocksteady Studios

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“The Giant Skull studio culture is founded on creativity and curiosity,” said Stig Asmussen. “We have assembled a talented team renowned for immersive storytelling, heroic combat, and exhilarating traversal, and our goal is to craft a rich universe that players will want to lose themselves in for years to come.”

God Of War 3 Director Stig Asmussen Launches Giant Skull, Their Website Is The Craziest Thing You’ve Seen

Speaking about the new studio, Scott said their values will affect how they make their games and interact with players. Scott summed up the studio’s values in four words: autonomy, momentum, curiosity, and respect.

“We want players to join us on every step of this amazing journey, as we pave the way for our upcoming game. We’re creating something special and have been fortunate enough to assemble an incredible initial team of developers who are extremely passionate and experienced in creating genre-defining, third-person action-adventures.”

Gian Skull’s website is nothing like you have seen

According to IGN, Giant Skull currently has a team of around 30 people. If there is any indication that Giant Skull will take gamers on a crazy ride, it is the fact that the website looks entirely different.

God Of War 3 Director Stig Asmussen Launches Giant Skull, Their Website Is The Craziest Thing You’ve Seen

When you visit the new studio’s website, it is barebone. All you will see is the name of the studio written at the top center with a video playing in the background that sometimes includes words or tape reels flowing out of cassettes. At the top left corner, you will find a square bracket. Once you click on it, you will get the message:

“System Console Initiated…

Route Established ~4.5% Variance

Initiate Tightbeam – Connected

System Ready

>”

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When you type the “right” prompt, you will get a response but when you type the “wrong” prompt, you will get the message [Command Denied]. We decided to mess around with it. When we typed “About”, it responded with “I create. You create. We create. All experience. Through action not words.”

We tried “Contact” and it responded with “info@giantskull.com”. Also, we tried location and it responded with “New Los Angeles Greater Vast Plane”. We think it has been programmed to respond to specific prompts.

We tried a couple more prompts but most of them returned the [Command Denied] response. However, they were prompts that returned rather awkward responses. For example,

  • When we typed “Team Size”, the response was “Creators of the collective dream”.
  • We typed “Project” and the response was “Transported. Becoming. Exhilaration.”
  • We keyed in “Launch date” and the response was “Missing credentials, dive aborted”.

God Of War 3 Director Stig Asmussen Launches Giant Skull, Their Website Is The Craziest Thing You’ve Seen

“The main goal is to build an environment where people can come and collaborate and make something that’s going to ship,” Asmussen said. “It’s up to the individual. We’ll support whatever you need. We can approach people on an individual basis. If you want to work from home all the time in another part of the world, totally fine.

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When asked whether Giant Skull will remain independent or may consider partnering with a platform or major publisher, Asmussen said, “We’ve secured significant funding. It’s sufficient to support our vision, but at the same time we’ll explore partnership opportunities with global publishers when the time comes.”

Giant Skull will likely stick with making single-player games

At a time when companies are exploring live service games as a means of ensuring consistent revenue, Asmussen said he would rather stick with what he knows. Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz, the God of War 3 director said single-player games excited him and that he would “want to continue doing that”.

“For us, it would be somewhat foolish to try and make something that we’re not experienced with or really good at,” he said. “but also, I’ve been grateful that I can work on the types of games I like to play. We don’t want to try and do something we’re not comfortable with. We are single-player-focused. That being said, it is early days and we are always looking for opportunities to engage players in different ways.”

“So, if there was something that could make the experience better, and it’s not going to pose a challenge to us in being able to execute… we are very open-minded about that. But I make single-player games. That is what excites me, and I want to continue doing that.”


Anthony Emecheta

Anthony Emecheta has over a decade experience as a freelance writer. Gaming has always been a childhood hobby and he is excited to be collaborating with a gaming company as a content creator. It is like having all the things he loves in one place.

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