Romuald Capron left Arkane Studios in October, just under a month after the release of their time-looping stealth 'em up, Deathloop. But after 16 years at the company, the studio director wanted to try something new, and is currently working on a free educational game named PowerZ. I spoke to Capron about what this new project will entail, and how it felt to leave Arkane after such a long career there.
Capron joined Arkane Studios in 2005, and worked as chief operating officer and production director before taking on the role of studio director in 2019. Since his departure, game director Dinga Bakaba, co-creative and art director Sébastien Mitton, technical director Hugues Tardif, and executive producer Morgan Barbe have been left in charge of the studio.
"Leaving was daunting, the decision was really hard to make, because I was really attached to the studio - I'm still very attached to the studio," he told me. "But I wanted to experiment with something new, and I've left the studio in very good hands."
That something new is PowerZ, an online educational game that a press release tells me wants to be the "Fortnite of education", which sure is something. Capron is the game's executive producer, and said it's an experimental adventure-RPG with educational elements aimed at kids between the ages of 8 and 14. Importantly, kids have been involved in the game's development too.
"One of the pillars of the project is to co-create the game with children, so they can tell us their ideas and we can try and implement them," Capron told me. "We are also trying to show the children how we make the game, they're part of the process."
While he didn't tell me much about what the game actually entails, Capron did say it would help teach children subjects they already learn about in school - maths, geography, history and all that. I was curious why he wanted to move onto something like this, given his background in gritty immersive sims, and honestly, he has some pretty nice ideals.
"Improving education is a way to improve the world," he said. "If we can improve education for the next generation, we can help improve the world we're living in now."
PowerZ is currently in development. If you (or your kids) are interested in PowerZ, you can sign up for its mailing list here.