Creative Assembly, the developers behind the landmark RTS series Total War and survival-horror game Alien Isolation is set to open a new studio in the North-East of England.
Creative Assembly North will be located in Newcastle and led by Giselle Stewart OBE as studio director. The new studio will be reportedly working on an as-yet unannounced project with the main Sussex team. Deciding to place their new studio in the historically under-invested but growing North of the UK is a bold move from the developers and parent company Sega, and opens them up to attracting growing talent in the region.
Stewart commented on the new studio, saying: “Starting a new development studio from scratch with the full support and insights of one of the UK’s oldest and largest studios is incredibly exciting. We are embracing flexibility, fast iteration, and creation, while fostering cross-location collaboration.
“We are bringing new job opportunities to the North-East, building a studio which amplifies the fantastic culture and values of Creative Assembly. We will also extend the reach of the studio’s award-winning outreach programme, the Legacy Project, to support excellence in industry education in the region.”
As with many businesses in the UK, most jobs in gaming are centralised around London. And while this outlook becomes increasingly skewed - given that the move to remote working by some smaller studios means that only highly centralised larger developers will maintain the most in-office jobs - the map of how jobs are centralised on the capital still reflects the perception that London is the place to be.
However, more and more game companies have been looking outside of the capital to establish themselves. Multiplatform developers such as Wales Interactive have shown success is possible while being headquartered in Brecon, while growing opportunities in cities such as Manchester, Slough and Cambridge as noted in the UK Games Jobs Map also help further buck the trends. Creative Assembly for example have also expanded their portfolio in recent years to recognise the skill of mobile game developers, with the studio acquiring Crytek Black Sea back in 2017 and renaming it as Creative Assembly Sofia.
The studio has also worked closely with mobile developer Feral Interactive, who took the lead in adapting a number of their early Total War titles, such as Medieval 2 and Rome onto the mobile platform. Feral would make their PC debut with Rome: Total War Remastered in 2021 and performed the amazing technical feat of porting Alien Isolation onto mobile devices in the same year.