What happens when iron meets steam? In the real world, clothes get smooth. In the games industry, however, they react and create another entity altogether. Image & Form, the studio behind the SteamWorld games, have amalgamated with the creators of upcoming forest adventure Fe (it actually has nothing to do with the elemental notation for Iron, soz) to create Thunderful. It’s a new company altogether, co-owned by the two head honchos of its constituent studios. The two studios won’t disappear. This new, bigger one will just own them both.
None of this changes the studios’ plans either, says the new chimerical beast. They “will continue to develop games with existing and new IPs under their respective labels.” That means both the colourful Fe and (presumably) any unannounced SteamWorld follow-ups won’t be affected.
Image & Form and Zoink have worked together before, and are separated only by a river in Gothenburg. The two heads are practically best friends, as fellow journo Joe Skrebels found out. But the studios are now getting proper married and moving into the same building and everything.
“Me and Klaus, who runs Zoink, do a lot of stuff together,” Brjann Sigurgeirsson, CEO of Image & Form told us when we asked about the merger. “We never call each other less than five times per day to discuss games, design, the daily business, etc - and then we call each other in the evening to hear what the respective family is having for dinner, more business, more design etc etc...
“And we've been co-owned by the same company for some time now, a really awesome little outfit called Bergsala. They own half of Thunderful, and me and Klaus own the rest.”
Bergsala is “the sole distributor of Nintendo products in the Nordic region” so that is - let’s face it PC chums - quite a good partnership to have if your games are kid-friendly metroidvanias and brightly coloured animal hi-jinks.
Sigurgeirsson will be taking on the role of CEO for Thunderful, while co-owner and boss of Zoink, Klaus Lyngeled, will take the title of Chief Creative Officer.
I really dug (ha ha) SteamWorld Dig 2. It was also one of our best games of 2017 AND it’s one of the best metroidvanias.To be so well-liked almost seems obscene. Meanwhile, Pip was pleased with the appearance of Fe, which is due for release on February 16.