Game production is "becoming costlier and costlier, and it's becoming unsustainable for current-gen development to continue this way," former Retro Studios (Metroid Prime) principal technology engineer Jack Mathews tells Gamasutra.
This is why he and former Retro game director Mark Pacini and art director Todd Keller founded Armature Studio and signed a long-term publishing deal with Electronic Arts. The three developers discussed the move with Gamasutra this week.
The new Austin, Texas-based company is in many ways an experiment intended to demonstrate a different type of development: keeping a small in-house staff to conceive ideas and rapidly prototype gameplay concepts and technology, then working with external contractors and outsourcers for full production.
The company is currently hiring, but plans to cap out at around eleven employees -- and deliver full-scale, triple-A games with its distributed development model.