Former developers from games like Journey and What Remains of Edith Finch are starting a new studio, titled Gardens. Gardens will be a remote-first studio that will focus on creating multiplayer games with compelling, novel shared experiences. The studio’s founders include Chris and Stephen Bell, and Lexie Dostal. The studio’s team members come with some pretty impressive resumes, too, boasting experience creating games like Marvel’s Spider-Man, Skryim, and Ratchet & Clank.
Gardens’ top priority is health and happiness
If there’s one thing that makes Gardens unique, it’s their approach to creating games. Talking with Destructoid, studio founder Chris Bell states that the health of his teammates is just as important as the craftsmanship of their games. That’s likely why Gardens is opening as a remote-first studio. Bell also reveals that the studio is already working on a flagship project: a 3D fantasy adventure game for PC and consoles. To this, the team states that their main focus is creating “compelling, well-crafted, thoughtful games that cultivate novel shared experiences between players online.”
Both Chris and Stephen Bell worked together on What Remains of Edith Finch, a narrative-heavy adventure game released in 2017. Prior to Edith Finch, Chris Bell also worked at Thatgamecompany as a game designer and producer for Journey back in 2012. He later rejoined the studio to work on the mobile title Sky: Children of Light. Lexie Dostal is the co-creator of Dustforce, a 2D platformer released in 2012. With these many talented creatives under a single roof, it’s hard not to get excited at what they might make next.
In other news, Sony plans to release at least 10 new live-service titles by 2026 with Bungie’s help. Electronic Arts also plans to release 3 or 4 unannounced titles by April 2023.