It’s no secret that Washington State has long been a hotbed for video game design. Some of the best games have come out of Seattle studios, and its industry leadership continues with the announcement that Electronic Arts (EA) has opened a new studio, Cliffhanger Games, in Seattle.
The new studio’s first project will be a single-player game based on Marvel’s Black Panther franchise. Black Panther made its first appearance in 1966’s Fantastic Four #52. The legendary Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the character, which ruled the fictional African nation of Wakanda.
Details of the new game are sparse, but the studio itself is classed as an AAA studio by the industry, which means it will work on large projects that have teams of 100+ developers and big budgets to work with. Cliffhanger Games is being led by local industry veteran Kevin Stephens, who headed Monolith Productions in Kirkland for the last 20 years. Monolith is famous for Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War, both based on the Lord of the Rings.
“We’re dedicated to delivering fans a definitive and authentic Black Panther experience, giving them more agency and control over their narrative than they have experienced in a story-driven video game,” said Stephens.
Electronic Arts owns two other studios in the greater Seattle area, PopCap and Ridgeline Games. More than 23,000 people work in the game industry in Washington, working for such stalwarts as Valve, Big Fish, Microsoft and Nintendo. These companies account for almost a fifth of the world’s direct gaming revenue.