Crystal Dynamics announced the formation and opening of Crystal Southwest in Austin, Texas. The new development studio will be a “major part of all current and future titles,” the company said on Twitter.
Executive producer Dallas Dickinson will be overseeing the studio. Prior to joining Crystal Dynamics, Dickson led the Austin-based studio QCGames, which was working on an action RPG MMO lite called Breach before the studio’s closure in 2019. He also served as a producer and director at BioWare for six years on Star Wars: The Old Republic.
“The initial team in Austin, made up of Crystal Dynamics veterans, is already hard at work,” said Crystal Dynamics over a variety of social media platforms. This is the studio’s second expansion. In 2018, Crystal Northwest was established in Bellevue, Washington to help out with the development of Marvel’s Avengers. The new studio in Austin will also support Crystal’s games.
It’s not clear yet what kind of support work that Crystal Northwest will be working on, but the new studio signals a continued investment in Western studios from publisher Square Enix. Weak sales of Marvel’s Avengers led to speculation to an uncertain future for both Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal, another venerable studio that assisted in the superhero brawler’s development.
At the very least, there’s hope that Marvel’s Avengers will continue to receive improvements and updates while other games are being developed. In addition to Marvel’s Avengers and possibly future development of the Tomb Raider franchise, a Guardians of the Galaxy game is in the works from Eidos Montreal, which has been confirmed by industry spy Jeff Grubb of GamesBeat.
Crystal Dynamics is currently encouraging people to apply for jobs at the new studio with positions in fields such as combat design, economy design, services engineering and art. None of these listings give any indication as to what sort of games Crystal Southwest will be working on or supporting, though we can guess that at least some staff will be tasked to support Marvel’s Avengers.