Crystal Dynamics hires former Naughty Dog and EA creatives to work on “ambitious” new Avengers video game

Back in January 2017, the development studio Crystal Dynamics, publisher Square Enix and Marvel comics released a short video announcing to the world that they were making an Avengers video game.

Further information about the project has been in short supply, with fans reduced to guessing about what an Avengers game will look like and if it will ever be delivered.

Some information is beginning to come through though. Today, Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix announced a team of “top industry talent” has been assembled to work on “The Avengers Project”.

The new hires include Shaun Escayg who joins The Avengers Project as creative director.

Previously, Escayg served as a former creative director at Naughty Dog, and was the creative director and writer of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. He also led the cinematics team as the director of photography and animation supervisor on The Last of Us .

“I’m thrilled to join Crystal as creative director and be aligned with a team as passionate about telling great character based stories as I am,” said Escayg.

Also joining the Avengers project is Stephen Barry, who is to become director of production.

In a career spanning 27 years, Barry has held multiple positions at Electronic Arts, and is a former director of product development at Visceral Games, where he worked on several games including the critically acclaimed Dead Space franchise.

Crystal Dynamics also announced Escayg and Barry would be supported by a team of “world-renowned industry veterans”, spanning production, animation, design, art and engineering, who have previously worked on games such as Batman: Arkham Origins, Dead Space and Star Wars: Battlefront.

Image courtesy of Square Enix. Featured image courtesy of Anton_Ivanov /

What the Avengers game will actually look like is less clear, but Crystal Dynamics co-head of studio Ron Rosenberg said the studio had set itself “ambitious goals” for the Avengers project.

From previous job advertisements listed by Crystal Dynamics, commentators have guessed that the game will feature “social”, “shared” online play, and will – at least in combat sections – resemble a “3rd person cover based action adventure game”.

“We’re committed to delivering an incredible, completely original Avengers experience to our gamers, and that means we are always looking to add amazing developers to our existing best in class studio talent,” said Scot Amos, co-head of studio at Crystal Dynamics.

“As development progresses, our studio continues to grow. The tremendous progress we’ve made on The Avengers project further drives us toward our goal of crafting something all Marvel fans will be proud of, and will play for years to come. We can’t wait to show you what we mean in the future.”

Atari tells fans its new Ataribox console will arrive in late 2018

Atari has revealed more details about its Ataribox videogame console today, with the company disclosing that the console will ship in late 2018 for somewhere between $249 and $299.

Atari says that it will launch the Ataribox on Indiegogo this autumn.

The company said it chose to launch the console in this way because it wants fans to be part of the launch, be able to gain access to early and special editions, as well as to make the Atari community “active partners” in the rollout of Ataribox.

“I was blown away when a 12-year-old knew every single game Atari had published. That’s brand magic. We’re coming in like a startup with a legacy,” said Ataribox creator and general manager Feargal Mac in an interview with VentureBeat.

“We’ve attracted a lot of interest, and AMD showed a lot of interest in supporting us and working with us. With Indiegogo, we also have a strong partnership.”

Images courtesy of Atari

Atari also revealed that its new console will come loaded with “tons of classic Atari retro games”, and the company is also working on developing current titles with a range of studios.

The Ataribox will be powered by an AMD customised processor, with Radeon Graphics technology, and will run Linux, with a customised, easy-to-use user interface.

The company believes this approach will mean that, as well as being a gaming device, the Ataribox will also be able to service as a complete entertainment unit that delivers a full PC experience for the TV, bringing users streaming, applications, social, browsing and music.

“People are used to the flexibility of a PC, but most connected TV devices have closed systems and content stores,” Mac said. “We wanted to create a killer TV product where people can game, stream and browse with as much freedom as possible, including accessing pre-owned games from other content providers.”

In previous releases, Atari has said that it would make two editions of its new console available: a wood edition and a black and red version.

After being asked by many fans, the company has revealed that the wood edition will be made from real wood.

Atari has asked that fans let it know what they think of the new console via its social channels