Game designer Raphael Colantonio founded Arkane Studio in 1999 and participated in the creation of projects such as Dark Messiah of Might and Magic and Dishonored. In an interview with PC Gamer, he talked about the reasons for leaving the AAA segment, the problems of the industry and his new independent project.

“When I founded Arkane, my dream was to do [Ultima Underworld] for the rest of my life,” Colantonio admits. However, after the release of Prey in 2017, he decided to leave the company.

According to the game designer, he began a creative burnout. That’s largely why he decided to step away from developing new games for a while.

Rafael Colantonio

Founder of Arkane Studios

Despite the fact that Colantonio has now returned to development and founded a new studio WolfEye, he no longer wants to do big-budget projects. “There was no way I wanted to go back to developing AAA games and spend 90% of my strength trying to stay afloat. That’s not what I make games for,” he explains.

According to Colantonio, the modern gaming industry has become like a car manufacturing plant. Unable to take a creative break and find inspiration for a new project, developers are forced to think over the production of sequels for years to come.

Therefore, the founder of Arkane believes that indie developers have much more freedom. At the same time, major studios must constantly worry about the numbers, sometimes forgetting about the game itself.

We can take much bigger risks and we are much less concerned about the market and the numbers. When we talk about how to recapture money for the development of an AAA project, we are talking about such large sums that instead of a game you start making a product.

Rafael Colantonio

Founder of Arkane Studios

It was this approach that Colantonio wanted to abandon after leaving Arkane. Despite all the risks and much smaller budgets, he wants to be sure that the studio itself is fully responsible for the final result.

The first project of his new company WolfEye will be the isometric action rpg Weird West. Unlike Colantonio’s previous projects, its action will take place in a completely open world. At the same time, the developer promises to adhere to the same principles of game design as when creating the iconic immersive Arkane sims.

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