Mirror's Edge Catalyst design director Erik Odeldahl announced today (29 June) that he has quit EA DICE to co-found a new independent studio with former Rovio Stockholm GM Oskar Burman and Frostbite Labs developer Kristoffer Benjaminsson.
The new studio – called Fast Travel Games – will focus on the development of virtual reality games. In a tweet, Odeldahl said: "Some big news today. I have resigned from DICE to co-found a new game dev studio in Stockholm. Our focus in 100% on virtual reality games."
Burman, meanwhile, said: "Been a fan of VR since Palmer Luckey did the [Oculus Kickstarter], so this is a dream coming true! And timing just got right for us founders to do it as a team." He later revealed a few of the advisers helping the trio as they get Fast Travel off the ground, including Avalanche Studios founder Christofer Sundberg.
In a statement on their website, Fast Travel says: "We want to change the way you play. We're gamers by heart, and believe VR is the ultimate platform for deep, engrossing game universes. Our mission is to build games where players are free to explore their surroundings, where they will experience rich narratives and interact with others in new and interesting ways."
The team is currently hiring, but there's no details yet on what roles they're recruiting for.
We spoke to Odeldahl in April about Mirror's Edge: Catalyst, and asked about the potential of VR for that series. "I have some experience in trying VR stuff out, and I think − this going to sound like such a cliché − but it really is a new frontier. There are obvious things that you can take from regular development over to VR, but it's going to require a completely different kind of thinking when it comes to movement and stuff like that.
"When you think of VR, Mirror's Edge seems like an obvious thing but, as you say, it just won't work, it needs to be recreated for VR in some way. All good development is when you iterate and try out ideas, 30-40 ideas, until you crack how it's going to work, and that's for another day."