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Mode 7 co-founder leaves to do brain science

Ian Hardingham, the co-founder of Mode 7 Games, has left the Frozen Synapse studio and the games industry altogether for a new career as a bona fide brain science man working on detecting Alzheimer’s disease. Goodness me. This does sadly mean that Mode 7 are winding down development a bit, still making the odd small-ish game or two and publishing others but no longer planning “large-scale” games of their own. That’s a shame as they’ve made some crackers but I suppose it is also good to, y’know, work against a horrifying disease.

Hardingham has left Mode 7 to become chief technology officer at Oxford Brain Diagnostics, a company who really for real are working on early detection of Alzheimer’s and other brainbreakages from MRI scans. With his departure, fellow co-founder Paul Kilduff-Taylor said in today’s announcement, Mode 7 are “no longer developing large-scale indie games in-house.” Aw.

“I [. . .] know that this is going to be a disappointment to the parts of our community who were hoping to see more strategy titles from Ian and myself, so we’re sorry that’s not going to happen,” fellow co-founder Paul Kilduff-Taylor said. “Your support for this ridiculous endeavour over the years is hugely appreciated.”

This means several other members are leaving Mode 7, because they’re less needed. The studio aren’t fully closing, mind, still planning to support their existing games while making their new smaller games and publishing games by other developers. They started this side-gig a few years back, so far publishing Tokyo 42 and The Colonists.

“My plan is to continue releasing a small number of games, but giving each title significant attention to help it get made and help it to reach an audience,” Killduff-Taylor explained. “There are some really interesting games being developed on a small scale right now that deserve to make that connection, and I’m keen to find more of them.”

He’s also using his musical alias nervous_testpilot, under which he composed the Frozen Synapse soundtrack as well as some plain ol’ albums, for his first solo game: Wardialler. “I’m interested in continuing to explore the idea of pairing albums with smaller games,” he noted.

So it’s an end of sorts for Mode 7, but not the definitive end. They did at least end that phase of their life on a high note.

“I’ve listed a lot of niggling complaints with Frozen Synapse 2, but that’s mainly because there’s honestly not that many ways to say how fantastic in both premise and execution its core concept is, and how well its game modes showcase it,” Nic Reuben said in our Frozen Synapse 2 review.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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