‘Doom’ Developers Launch Indie AAA Games Studio With Dystopian Sci-Fi Shooter as First Title

A new independent gaming studio led by vets of “Doom” developer id Software has launched with initial seed funding from Sisu Game Ventures.

Named emptyvessel, the gaming studio will focus on developing AAA video games. Its first project will be an immersive shooter “inspired by film, graphic novels and games set in dystopian sci-fi worlds.” The title is powered by Unreal Engine 5.

Austin-based emptyvessel is led by CEO and game director Emanuel Palalic and COO and general manager Garrett Young, both alums of “Doom” and “Quake” maker id Software. They’ve tapped a team of developers who have worked on franchises including “Call of Duty,” “Last of Us,” “Borderlands,” “Tomb Raider” “Uncharted” and “Callisto Protocol,” with employees working remotely worldwide.

The company describes itself as a “developer-founded, developer-first studio” that “aims to break from the traditional business models and work together towards a common vision of a future powered by people and creativity, where the industry is moved forward by teams of great game makers.”

emptyvessel is focused on recruiting AAA-level talent that creates “high-quality IPs with more attainable scope.”

“Many game developers like myself began our journey fueled by the dream of one day bringing our worlds to life,” Palalic said. “By prioritizing and aligning with our strengths, we’re confident it’s possible to create AAA-quality games with smaller, focused teams. The industry has often overlooked the people who pour their hearts and souls into crafting these worlds. With emptyvessel, we’re determined to change that narrative and make that dream a reality for as many developers as we can.”

Young added: “Our industry is at a crossroads between business and talent. At emptyvessel, we take a Developer-First approach to our direction and execution. We understand every innovation in this industry has been led by a developer taking a risk — every new IP, every billion-dollar franchise. Gaming’s next massive hit can come from anywhere.”

See a teaser video for the new studio below.

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