Ignition Entertainment, a subsidiary of mega corporation UTV, is changing their business model. Reports surfaced that Ignition closed their Austin studio and may have shuttered their Japanese studio, which developed El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron. A tipster also informed us the London studio, which was working on Project Kane has been closed.
We got in touch with Shane Bettenhausen, Director of Business Development, who confirmed the London studio will cease developing games. Ignition offices will remain open in London and Tokyo, but only for video game publishing. Ignition will no longer develop games internally.
Bettenhausen clarified that Ignition will still focus on creating new IP, like Dragon’s Crown, but will focus on partnering with external developers and overseeing development moving forward. In addition to Vanillaware, Ignition is working with Dementium developer Renegade Kid on Planet Crashers 3D and Melbourne-based Endgame Studios on Fractured Soul 3D. Both titles are slated for release on Nintendo 3DS early next year. Ignition also acquired Quarrel, a word game developed by Denki.
When we spoke with Takeyasu Sawaki, the lead designer of El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron, he mentioned he was not employed by Ignition or their Japanese studio. Instead, Sawaki is a contractor.