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 / Shutterstock.com

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.”

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Skydio unveils its obstacle-dodging, thrill-seeking, AI-powered drone

An autonomous drone startup founded by former MIT researchers has today launched its R1, a fully autonomous flying camera that follows its subjects through dense and challenging environments.

In a promotional video, launched to introduce the autonomous camera, R1 can be seen following an athlete as she parkours her way through dense woodland.

The drone’s makers Skydio have explained that the camera combines artificial intelligence, computer vision, and advanced robotics and works by anticipating how people move, so R1 can make intelligent decisions about how to get the smoothest, most cinematic footage in real-time.

“The promise of the self-flying camera has captured people’s imaginations, but today’s drones still need to be flown manually for them to be useful,” said Adam Bry, CEO and co-founder of Skydio.

“We’ve spent the last four years solving the hard problems in robotics and AI necessary to make fully autonomous flight possible. We’re incredibly excited about the creative possibilities with R1, and we also believe that this technology will enable many of the most valuable drone applications for consumers and businesses over the coming years.”

Launching today is the Frontier Edition of R1, which is aimed at athletes, adventurers, and creators.

This version of R1 is powered by the Skydio Autonomy Engine, enabling it to see and understand the world around it so that it can fly safely at speeds of upto 25mph while avoiding obstacles.

The autonomous drone is fitted with 13 cameras, which gives it the ability to map and understand the world in real-time, allowing it to be fully autonomous and independently capture footage that in Skydio’s words “once required a Hollywood film crew” and will “enable a new type of visual storytelling”.

The R1 “Frontier Edition” is available for order now on Skydio’s website for $2,499.