Good news! Hidden Path Entertainment CEO Jeff Pobst and CFO Jim Garbarini took to the vide-webs today to announce that Defense Grid 2 is not just “happening,” development has been underway for a while and we can expect the game early next year. Full announcement and more below.
This news is kind of unexpected – I think most fans felt it was pretty likely there’d be a Defense Grid 2, but not so soon. Hidden Path’s successful Kickstarter campaign wasn’t technically for it – they wanted $250,000 to make Defense Grid: Containment, which they got, and which they did. Defense Grid 2 was a stretch goal, requiring a million bucks… or about $730,000 more than they made on Kickstarter. Luckily someone with money was watching, and made the vast cognitive leap that a sequel to the beloved tower defense game was in the best interest of civilization at large. Given Hidden Path’s successful, on-time, on-budget history, this mystery company made up the difference for our upcoming sequel.
What amazes me isn’t that they got publisher funding, it’s that they had so much trouble getting it. Hidden Path isn’t your regular indie studio. The company’s leadership, including Jim and Jeff, each average something like 25 years of experience in the games industry. Jeff Pobst started at Sierra, on King’s Quest, for crying out loud. Their CTO Michael Austin is considered one of the foremost experts on Xbox 360 architecture, and served on the original Xbox Advanced Technology Group. Jim Garbarini’s tenure in games began way back at Virtual World Entertainment Group (you’re probably more familiar with VWEG in the form of a subsidiary, Shadowrun and Mechwarrior innovators FASA). They’re a safe investment. Sure, I love Defense Grid and I know Jim and Jeff so I’m biased, but for some reason it really sticks in my craw that these guys, these people of all people, couldn’t get one god damned million bucks when the imbeciles behind Aliens: Colonial Marines got like fifty.
It sort of sums up one of the things that’s wrong with this business.
Anyhow, here’s what Jeff and Jim had to say…
So who is the secret backer? I have a theory, but whenever I voice my theories I wind up being embarrassingly wrong so I’ll keep my mouth shut. We’ll find out sooner or later anyway.
I’m a fan of Defense Grid, as you may have surmised, and I’m really excited for the new one. Hidden Path has developed a new engine around this game, and since their funding has created a release window a full year earlier than anyone expected, it means that we’ll be able to get back to our Grids and the Defending thereof much sooner than we’d like. Hooray!
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