Video-game developer Striking Distance Studios, a subsidiary of Korean publisher Krafton Inc., is appointing new management several months after the commercial flop of its first game.
(Bloomberg) — Video-game developer Striking Distance Studios, a subsidiary of Korean publisher Krafton Inc., is appointing new management several months after the commercial flop of its first game.
Chief Executive Officer Glen Schofield is leaving, a Krafton representative confirmed Wednesday, saying he has “decided to pursue new opportunities.” Striking Distance’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer are also leaving. Krafton said all three departures were voluntary.
Chief Development Officer Steve Papoutsis will take over as CEO. In a statement, Schofield said his departure was “bittersweet, but I know the studio is in excellent hands.”
Schofield founded the studio in 2019 to make a spiritual successor to Dead Space, the sci-fi horror series he co-created while working at Electronic Arts Inc. In December 2022, the company released The Callisto Protocol to mediocre reviews. In January, analysts said the horror game was on track to sell 2 million copies, missing Krafton’s target of 5 million. In recent months, Striking Distance laid off more than 30 staffers. The company’s website now shows around 90 employees.
The shakeup at the San Ramon, California-based game developer is reflective of the turbulent nature of the video-game industry. Big-budget games take years to make and can cost hundreds of millions of dollars, which means a single miss can severely damage a game company’s prospects.
New franchises are rare in the industry, where most big-budget games are based on established intellectual property to mitigate risk. The Callisto Protocol was marred by glitches and performance issues, hurting its chances of succeeding in a competitive market. A month after it came out, Electronic Arts released a remake of Dead Space to critical acclaim.
The Krafton representative said the “studio’s plans remain unaffected.”
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