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Game Industry Veterans Launch 'Skylab Entertainment'

by Rainier on March 5, 2003 @ 9:52 a.m. PST

Today a team of game industry veterans announced the launch of Skylab Entertainment, a new game development studio in Austin, Texas. Skylab's founders include original team members from game developer Ritual Entertainment and publisher Gathering of Developers. Skylab Entertainment is dedicated to developing the next generation of interactive entertainment for tomorrow's gaming systems, and is hard at work on their first, unannounced title.

"We formed Skylab Entertainment specifically to create a new breed of games. We're combining strong characters and immense game worlds with cutting edge technologies for entirely new styles of gameplay," said Michael Hadwin, Skylab's CEO and Creative Director. "We’re looking forward to rocketing the industry into new and exciting directions."

Hadwin co-founded AAA game developer Ritual Entertainment in 1996 and, during his tenure as Vice President and Art Director, was responsible for building Ritual's award-winning art team, contributing to the popular first-person shooters Quake Mission Pack #1 and SiN, and third person shooter Heavy Metal: FAKK 2. Prior to Ritual Entertainment, Michael worked at 3D Realms Entertainment where he played a key role in the development of Duke Nukem 3D and Shadow Warrior.

Serving as President and General Manager of Skylab's Austin studio is Rick Stults, himself a proven veteran of the game industry. In 1998 Stults co-founded Gathering of Developers, which published hit games Max Payne, Mafia, and Serious Sam. Rick served as Gathering's Chief Financial Officer until its acquisition by Take 2 Interactive (TTWO) in 2000. After Gathering became a Take 2 subsidiary, Stults served as Vice President of Operations, overseeing the day-to-day workings of the Gathering's Austin offices.

"It's an exciting time in the world of game development, and we've built a foundation here at Skylab to deliver compelling entertainment for years to come," said Stults. "We’ve assembled an all-star team with a long history of award-winning game titles. I'm very excited to be launching Skylab with this powerhouse of talent."

Providing technological leadership for Skylab Entertainment is Chief Technology Officer Patrick Curry, who most recently served as Vice President of Server Development for mobile game developer Team Smarty Pants. At TSP Curry led the development of their mobile gaming platform and their flagship game, GridBloc, which allows players on different devices, including PCs, cell phones and PDAs, to connect and play against each other. Prior to TSP, Curry co-founded online education company Powered in 1999, and founded Internet development firm ZFI in 1994, which was acquired by frog design in 1997.

"Today the line between the online and offline gaming markets is fairly blurred because nearly all games tap into the Internet for additional content, community or multiplayer capabilities," Curry said. "We at Skylab are dedicated to completely obliterating that line."

Skylab Entertainment will be attending the Game Developer Conference in San Jose, California March 5th through 8th.

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