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Somerville is the first game from ex-Playdead CEO’s new studio

Jumpship reveals itself

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Dino Patti, co-founder and former CEO of Limbo and Inside studio Playdead, has partnered with an indie developer to launch a new company called Jumpship, the studio announced today.

Jumpship is led by Chris Olsen, the creator of the studio’s inaugural project: Somerville, which the company describes as a “sci-fi action adventure that chronicles the lives of key individuals in the wake of a global catastrophe.” You can see a brief, vague teaser above.

Olsen is relatively new to game development. He did spend a year at Ninja Theory as an animator on Heavenly Sword, but he has worked for most of his career in the film industry as an animator and previsualization artist. Olsen’s movie credits include Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Iron Man 2, Edge of Tomorrow and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

He began working on Somerville in 2014 on the side, and chronicled the game’s development on Tumblr. “I believe video games have a potential to transcend the mediums it borrows from to bring not only meaningful emotional experiences but ones you cannot get anywhere else,” Olsen wrote in his first post on April 3, 2014.

Somerville - Earth at night
Something is happening in Somerville’s Western Europe.

Olsen’s development blog features tons of work-in-progress glimpses of Somerville, offering a much more detailed look at the game than today’s teaser trailer. It appears to be a side-scrolling action game with flat-shaded graphics — similar to the titles released by Playdead, the studio that Olsen’s fellow co-founder Patti used to run.

Patti, who is serving as executive producer on Somerville, left Playdead last July after nearly a decade at the Danish studio. Jumpship is based in Guildford, U.K., and is looking to expand its team, which already includes freelance contributors such as Virginia composer Lyndon Holland. The studio did not give a release window or planned platforms for Somerville.

“It’s taken many early rises and late nights crafting this passion project of mine, and it’s a dream come true to be given the opportunity to bring others on who can help to make Somerville everything it can be,” Olsen said in a statement to