Dear Darwin Project fans and gaming enthusiasts,
I am Simon Darveau, creative director of Darwin Project and co-founder of Scavengers Studio.
I have a bunch of news to share with you, some of which may sound surprising – or even strange without context. I have decided to give you a bit of insight, some perspective on the big picture!
darwin project was not financially viable
The video game industry is structured in projects, each with its own partners that invests upfront in exchange for a percentage of future revenues. As the scope of the Darwin Project grew, so did the portion we had to share with investors, up to the point that it was not viable for the company to continue investing in it.
Even though Darwin Project did not reach the commercial success we had envisioned, the game has undeniably proven to the industry several things.
First, we were able to ship a game that rivals AAA productions on an indie budget. Second, we were able to play and deliver using the most advanced technologies –even pushing the boundaries on this front. Third, we built a team and a company and delivered the game in record time. Finally, we have demonstrated our agility and ability to build new licences from scratch and deliver solid products based on entirely original creative direction.
So while we ran out of money to pursue the development of Darwin Project, we found financial partners who believe in our team and in our studio’s potential. They want to support us and give us a chance with new projects opportunities
scavengers studio is expanding
I believe that the video game industry is great, it’s doing well. Yet, I feel it could be so much better, so much greater. We have barely scratched its potential- and yet, it is currently dominated by tropes, formulas, and business opportunity-driven projects. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in monetization, business, and profit. These are vital aspects of any game project. Not succeeding in them is what cost me the development of Darwin Project. However, I believe that these ideas should be part of the project instead of being its very core. In my opinion, what should be at the core of any project is a strong creative vision. A flaming intuition, a need to change and disrupt, a different perspective on the universe –a need to push the boundaries, to redefine the world.
So beside having my own upcoming project, another goal I wish to accomplish is to create a space for the most talented creators who have something powerful and unique to express.I wish to create a society where talent, passion, and vision are at the heart of things. A place where idealism meets pragmatism –where you don’t only talk about a better future, you make it happen.
This is why the studio still has funds today to put towards new projects. We currently have two ongoing projects.The first one is Season, directed by Kevin Sullivan.
The second one is… my new project. While I won’t reveal much on it yet (no spoilers here!), I can say that I am the Creative Director of this one and that it is very much aligned with some elements of Darwin Project’s core vision.
new projects blossomed from within the studio: season
As previously mentioned, we now have a second creative director in da house –around whom a second dev team has been assembled.
The name of this new creative director is Kevin Sullivan, and he is lovable AF. Maybe even more than I am. lol Our Art Director started working on a project that blossomed from inside of the studio. It got traction around the artistic team. That in turn attracted an exceptional writer, who went on to become the second Creative Director in the studio: Kevin Sullivan. The project deeply touched a part of my soul, leading Amélie and I to pitch it to partners two years ago. We were humbled to receive funding from the Canadian Media Funds and to have won the Ubisoft Indie prize series with a prototype.
Kevin is a creator who has been gravitating around us since the very beginning. As we saw him grow, he proved to be a flame that inspired the whole team at all times. He knows everything and always has a rich perspective that makes us challenge our own vision of life. As he conquered the heart of our developers, we decided to give him a chance and let him take the driver seat on this colossal challenge that is building a new game, a new team, and a new universe from the ground up. Get to know him a bit more here.
So while Season is quite different from Darwin Project in terms of scope and goals, I deeply respect the creator behind it and cannot wait to share more about this exciting project.