Assassin’s Creed star’s new indie studio gets major EA funding •

Assassin's Creed star's new indie studio gets major EA funding •

Silver Rain Games, the new developer co-founded by BAFTA-nominated Assassin’s Creed star Abubakar Salim, will become the next team working under the EA Originals label.

This means that the studios’ first project will be funded by EA and will be featured on the same stage as the publisher’s biggest games, along with other EA Originals such as A Way Out, Fe, and Sea of ​​Solitude.

The announcement concludes a successful first year for Silver Rain Games, a remote studio run by former BAFTA Games program director Melissa Phillips and Salim himself – who you may know best as Bayek in Assassin’s Creed Origins or Father in the Ridley Scott HBO series Raised by Wolves.


Abubakar Salim and Melissa Phillips from the Silver Rain Games.

“It was around this time that last year we announced that we had a studio and – obviously, it’s been a year,” Phillips told me via video call this week. “We launched the studio three days after the first lockdown started, we knew we were going to be far away so we were covered – it was pure luck – but we have now grown the team from me and Abu shouting at us one after the other in a cafe. buys from 30 people around the world. “

Salim was also on call, on location in Cape Town to film Raised by Wolves season two. I ask if the studio’s choice for remote work was because Phillips knew his studio co-founder would always stray on film sets.

“The remote choice was an active choice,” laughs Salim. “Partly inspired by [Ori and the Blind Forest developer] The way Moon Studios works, but also the idea of ​​being able to actively work with different talents and people from all over the world who can give us different perspectives and stories and share that in this little studio that exists online. “

But it was a game they were making, right? EA’s press release mentions that Silver Rain Games will develop “innovative and engaging games and content across a variety of entertainment media.” Has EE funding been raised by Wolves season two?

“Abu is an incredibly talented world creator and we would never want to limit ourselves to just one form of media,” says Phillips. “But right now we’re working on a game – and it’s my job to tell Abu to do the one thing first.”

For video game fans, Salim’s work on Assassin’s Creed Origins remains possibly his most memorable work to date. Mentioning a push for different perspectives and different stories, I asked her how her experience on the Ubisoft project – and the subsequent AC Sisterhood movement to celebrate women in game development and more inclusive storytelling – had informed his decisions when setting up the new studio.

“The only thing I got out of my experience working on Assassin’s Creed was that this was my first time seeing how game creation works behind the scenes,” said Salim. “What inspired this dynamic of development was to be in a space where I saw so many hundreds of people working to build a world, to create this unique game. The people – most of them I spoke to – were all in love with this idea of ​​building this world, in love with building everything they did – the audio design, the art, the elements of actual coding. It was truly inspiring to see.

“It really kicked off the idea of ​​what it would be like to create a game, with exciting people in the industry who have the same mindset, who have the same thinking. And the inclusive stories will come from the opening and the doors. open to being in positions that Mel and I are in, and passing that same inspiration on to other people as well, to other storytellers. “

“It comes from the strength of our team, this closeness and collaboration, the sharing of experiences and cultures,” added Phillips. “We learn a lot – about what works and what doesn’t. We learn a lot about our voice as a studio. Abu and I have been friends for a long time, but it’s a different relationship.”

“We started this studio feeling like we wanted to do something impactful and big – and here we are talking about this incredible deal that we just signed with one of the biggest game companies in the world,” said Salim.

“We didn’t know how we would get there,” Phillips concluded. “We always believed in what we did, and slowly as the team grew we realized we had something special.”

Silver Rain Games’ initial plan is being kept under wraps for now, although with EA signing, we’re hoping to see the game pretty soon at one of the publisher’s main press conferences. Or maybe Salim will appear at the Game Awards, like fellow EA Originals developer Josef Fares?

“Damn the Oscars!” Salim laughs, while Phillips faces the palm of his hand. “We’ll just have to see what happens.”

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