GDC 09: Hatsworth devs leave EA to form a new studio

Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure was one of the most exceptional DS titles we’ve seen from EA in some time, and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying it made me hopeful for future portable offerings from the company. As of this morning, however, it seems that I may want to cast my attention in a different direction, at least if I want to keep an eye on the team that made Hatsworth rock — they’re branching out and forming their own game company.

Peter Ong, lead designer on Hatsworth, has announced the founding of DreamRift, an independent studio. Ryan Pijai, lead programmer on Hatsworth, follos him as co-founder of the new studio. Ong also mentioned that DreamRift will unveil their first project at this week’s GDC. Fast work, gentlemen! Henry would be proud. We’ll keep an eye on this new development and keep you posted as soon as we find out more about this mysterious new project.



March 24, 2009 – With the award-winning Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure having just released to critical acclaim, Peter Ong, Hatsworth’s Lead Designer, has departed Electronic Arts and announced the creation of the independent studio DreamRift.   He is joined by top industry talent, including Ryan Pijai, Hatsworth’s Lead Programmer and Co-Founder of the new studio 

“Our focus and passion is to create innovative video games of the highest quality,” said Ong.  “We’re very excited to unveil our first project to prospective publishers this week at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. 

Peter Ong is responsible for the creation of innovative and acclaimed action-adventure titles such as The Red Star, Vexx, and Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure, as well as high profile licensed titles for major industry-leading publishers Electronic Arts and Acclaim Entertainment.  He has served as a Design Lead and Producer on a broad range of team structures ranging from a modest team of under 20 people, to teams with over 150 people featuring budgets upwards of 20 million dollars 

Ryan Pijai brings with him a wide range of professional industry experience including Lead Engineer at Electronic Arts as well as Tools Programmer at Autodesk, the makers of AutoCAD and 3ds Max.  He has worked on multi-million unit selling sports games, next generation open world action games, and handheld games such as his most recently completed project as Lead Programmer: the original intellectual property Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure for the Nintendo DS.

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Colette Bennett
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