Something Wicked, new studio from former Bethesda lead, debuts at Gamescom


What do you get whenever you deliver collectively the sport designers who labored on “Fallout: New Vegas,” “Fallout 3,” “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” and “Dragon Age: Inquisition”? Apparently, you get Something Wicked.

On Tuesday, former senior Bethesda staffer Jeff Gardiner introduced the formation of his new studio, Something Wicked Video games, on the Gamescom 2022 online game commerce honest in Cologne, Germany. Gardiner was a senior producer on “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” lead producer on “Fallout 4” and mission lead of “Fallout 76.”

In August 2021, the trade veteran introduced his departure from Bethesda.

“I decided to take a break from the industry,” Gardiner instructed The Washington Publish. “But this whole time I was doing that, this game idea was building, building, building.”

That sport thought is “Wyrdsong,” an occult historic fantasy role-playing sport. “Wyrdsong’s” announcement trailer options an armored determine carrying a tabard with the purple cross insignia of the Knights Templar whereas an ominous voice hints about two worlds, “one before the shadow and one behind the eye.” Something Wicked stated the sport is ready in Portugal throughout the Center Ages and can concentrate on the Knights Templar, a medieval Catholic navy order that has turn out to be fodder for popular culture reimaginings, significantly in video video games. The Murderer’s Creed franchise, for instance, is concerning the protagonists waging a clandestine international conflict towards the Templars, their historic enemies.

Gardiner stated he needs “Wyrdsong” to make individuals query the character of actuality, referencing the 2 worlds talked about within the trailer. One other idea that will probably be explored in “Wyrdsong” is alternative; Gardiner defined that the sport’s identify nods to this (wyrd is Previous English for future or destiny).

“We’re really going to dig into choice and consequence in a very deep and meaningful way that hopefully no other RPG has ever done before,” Gardiner stated.

Gardiner is the CEO and one of many co-founders of Something Wicked. He’s joined by co-founder Charles Staples, previously lead designer of “Fallout: New Vegas” and design director of “The Outer Worlds” at Obsidian Leisure.

Alongside a veteran workforce of celebrated designers, Something Wicked has additionally secured $13.2 million in seed funding from NetEase. The studio is totally distant — a degree of delight for Gardiner. There are 13 Something Wicked staff proper now working from Maryland, Montreal, Washington, Minnesota and Florida.

“We are very, very open to employment,” Gardiner stated, in reference to the studio’s seek for distant expertise. “Anywhere we can get the best people.”

A online game studio moved to a four-day workweek. It ‘saved us,’ staff say.

“Wyrdsong” continues to be a great distance off, and Gardiner is an enormous believer in sluggish, sustained development. The studio’s plan is to have 30 staffers by 12 months two, and to cap out at 70 staff to ship the sport. Gardiner referred to that vary because the “magical amount of people” for a workforce that may work on massive tasks like a triple-A developer however nonetheless have a number of the flexibility of an indie studio.

“Remember, most Bethesda games early on were made with very few people,” Gardiner stated. “ ‘Skyrim’ was made with around a hundred people.”

A model new, totally distant triple-A developer with tens of millions in seed funding and a number of the most high-profile names within the RPG area, Something Wicked, like “Wyrdsong,” resides in two worlds, making an attempt to mix the very best practices of unbiased sport improvement with big-name manufacturing values and objectives. Time will inform if destiny is form to them.


An earlier model of this story incorrectly acknowledged that the sport builders Leonard Boyarsky and Tim Cain are members of the Something Wicked Video games workforce. They don’t seem to be, and are usually not concerned within the improvement of “Wyrdsong.”

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