Rocksteady Studios founders Sefton Hill and Jamie Walker have established a new development studio in London called Hundred Star Games, which is described as a AAA games studio startup that will consist of “only 100 industry veterans and emerging talents.”
Hundred Star Games has not been officially announced, but it is listed on the corporate data website Endole, with Hill and Walker listed as directors. And according to the company’s website, which appears to have gone live in October, it’s hiring for open positions.
Hundred Star also has a profile on the Great Place to Work website, which indicates it has around 25 employees and describes the studio’s ethos to create “a small team of only 100 industry veterans and emerging talents, who are committed to crafting cutting-edge gaming experiences that inspire and captivate players worldwide.”
It appears that Hundred Star Games’ founders are bringing some of their colleagues from Rocksteady with them. A handful of lead developers and director-level ex-Rocksteady employees have left the Batman Arkham studio in recent months to join an unannounced studio, according to LinkedIn profiles Polygon has reviewed.
Polygon has reached out to Hundred Star Games for comment on the studio’s founding, but the company has not responded to multiple requests.
Hill and Walker left Rocksteady Studios in 2022, after more than 18 years at the company and in the midst of development of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. Hill was formerly Rocksteady’s creative director, while Walker served as studio director. Their departure from the studio sounded amicable when the Rocksteady founders announced their plan to “hand over the reins, and for us to start a new adventure together in games.”
At the time, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment president David Haddad implied the departure shouldn’t worry Rocksteady fans, as Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League was “nearly finished.”
“We have the utmost respect and gratitude for Jamie and Sefton and wish them all the best in their new endeavor, and like many fans, we look forward to what they do next,” Haddad said.
Since Hill and Walker’s departure from Rocksteady, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League has been heavily delayed. It was originally slated for a 2022 launch, and it will finally be released next month, on Feb. 2.
Fan response to Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League has been rocky since the game’s unveiling at Warner Bros.’ DC Fandome event more than three years ago. Many longtime fans of Rocksteady’s single-player Batman games have bemoaned the always-online, multiplayer, games-as-a-service structure of Kill the Justice League, and recent hands-on previews of the Suicide Squad game have ranged from middling to cautiously optimistic.
How Hundred Star Games will differentiate itself from Rocksteady Studios remains to be seen, but it already seems apparent that the new studio is dreaming smaller. Based on its company ethos, Hundred Star will theoretically grow to less than half the size of Rocksteady, which boasts some 250 employees. That may signal a return to the single-player narrative games that put Rocksteady on the map.
Thanks for the tip, Mega Man.