Iron Galaxy has been pretty busy in these past couple of years following the porting of Spyro Reignited Trilogy and Overwatch on PC and Nintendo Switch respectively. The developer has now finally taken up the gauntlet to work on something new and original.
Speaking with SegmentNext in a recent interview, general manager Shekhar Dhupelia confirmed that Iron Galaxy has multiple projects covering new genres in its pipelines which not only include partner projects but also an all-new game.
Dhupelia teased that Iron Galaxy will be sharing more in the coming months. While he refrained from mentioning if an announcement is being planned for the upcoming all-digital E3 2021, he did note that the said new game remains in development for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
Unfortunately though, as much as fans have been requesting, a new Killer Instinct game looks to be out of the question. Dhupelia exclaimed that Iron Galaxy loves the enthusiasm being shown by the fighting community but the only way the developer considers another installment is if an opportunity presents itself.
SN: Let’s start with the current strength of the studio. How many people are working right now at Iron Galaxy?
SD: We just passed the 200-employee mark! This is a really exciting time of growth and transformation for us. We have several games in incubation and development, along with many partner projects, and we’re adding new disciplines to create a more direct relationship with our players.
SN: How are you guys dealing with current lockdown and pandemic situation. Has it affected the any studios plans? What about hiring process? Any difficulties in that department?
SD: Our first priority is always the health and safety of our people. Our studios have been closed since March of 2020, so we’ve been working remotely for more than a year now. Fortunately, with facilities in Chicago and Orlando, and a few more folks working out of Texas and California, we’re accustomed to using virtual collaboration tools to work together. As vaccines are distributed and infection rates start to fall, we have started welcoming volunteers to return to the offices under some pretty rigorous safety standards that follow CDC guidelines. We do our best work in the studio, so we’re eager to get back in there as the realities of the pandemic permit.
SN: Crunch culture has been quite popular in gaming industry. What is the stance of Iron Galaxy on it? How do you guys offer work-life balance to your employees?
SD: We make a strong commitment to maintaining a healthy balance between life and work for our people. The scheduling on all our projects takes into account the insight that a developer will do their best work over the course of a 40-hour work week. There are some people you just can’t pull away from the keyboard when they do what they love, but crunch is not a component of our strategy to hit our milestones and ship our deliverables. This is an ideal we strive for every day.
SN: You guys have now worked on multiple Nintendo Switch ports for renowned games like Diablo 3, Skyrim etc. What are your thoughts on Nintendo’s hardware? Do you think a new hardware can help developers bring more ports to Switch?
SD: As players, we love the Switch and the freedom it affords to us. As partners, we love working with Nintendo and with other companies interested in bringing their games to that amazing platform. We’ve had a great relationship for years now, and we’re always happy to take on new projects with them!
SN: How challenging was it to bring those huge games to Nintendo Switch?
SD: These are always a challenge, but they can also be a lot of fun for our teams to work on. The push in our industry towards some common hardware architectures and cross-platform tooling have made it a little bit easier to get through those early days of “just get the game running.” Where we really get to dig in, and where I really think we shine, is how we strive to make the game feel ‘native’ on the Switch. We put a lot of work into the art, UX, camera, controls, audio and performance to make sure that Switch fans will love that version of the game.
SN: I know you can’t reveal any specifics, but can fans expect any new announcements from you in near future? Will you guys be showcasing something at or around E3 2021?
SD: We do have an all-new game in development that we’re really excited about. We’ll have more to say about it later on this year (stay tuned!).
SN: Again, I have to ask! If given the opportunity, will you guys be interested in making a new Killer Instinct game?
SD: We loved working on Killer Instinct, and we had a great time supporting that community. They still ask us to update that experience every day on social media and we really appreciate the enduring enthusiasm. Like any other opportunity that comes our way, if KI ever presented itself again, we’d consider it.
SN: Let’s talk about the new consoles. As a developer, what’s your take on Xbox Series and PS5? What are the most exciting things for you guys about these new consoles?
SD: We love to see awesome new hardware hit the industry, and my whole family plays with both consoles at home every day! It opens up new capabilities and empowers us to do greater things. Competition is good for all of us. Sony and Microsoft have provided gamers – and developers – with a world of exciting options to evolve the pastime.
SN: Is Iron Galaxy Working on any titles for Xbox Series and PS5?
SD: Absolutely! And we’ll tell you more about that later this year…