Michael Condrey, who co-founded Call Of Duty crew Sledgehammer Games after being a big cheese at EA’s Visceral Games on games including Dead Space, has now joined 2K as president of a mysterious new studio. Continuing his tour of big American publishers, 2K say Condrey “will build and lead a new development team to work on an unannounced project.” It is weird to see 2K opening a studio after shutting down so many in recent years, and that does make me doubt its long-term chances, but hey, we’ll see.
Condrey was senior development director on sci-fi spooker Dead Space at Visceral Games, among other roles on other games, before jumping ship to Activision. He co-founded Sledgehammer Games under Activision with fellow Dead Space fella Glen Schofield, and there he directed 2014’s Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare and 2017’s Call Of Duty: WWII. Condrey and Schofield left Sledgehammer in February 2018 for other roles at Activision, then both later left the company entirely.
2K don’t say what Condrey will make at this new studio or even what it’s named, mentioning only say that it’s somewhere in Silicon Valley and they’ll do… stuff.
“Condrey and his future team will have the creative freedom to develop the studio’s vision and long-term projects while having access to a global network of proven industry leaders and resources across 2K’s studios,” the company said in today’s announcement.
I don’t wish to sound cynical, but I don’t hold much hope for a new 2K studio. Over the past four years they’ve shut down Irrational Games (its skeleton crew becoming Ghost Story Games), 2K Australia, and 2K China, as well as cutting 2K Czech down and rolling the remnants into Hangar 13. Rumour says that they’ve closed 2K Marin too but weirdly refuse to admit it, though the official line (as of 2014) is that they’re alive and will continue BioShock. It’s hard to imagine 2K giving this new crew more than one, maybe two chances to strike it big. Silicon Valley is not cheap and 2K have shown they’ll tear a studio apart when they have no pressing need for it.