Flagship Studios - the developer founded in 2003 by ex-Blizzard staffers David Brevik, Max Schaefer, Erich Schaefer, Bill Roper and Kenneth Williams - has revealed that its first project will be published by Namco Hometek. "When looking for a publishing partner, it was critical for us to find a company that shares our passion for making great games," Bill Roper is quoted as saying.
Although details on Flagship's first game are still scant, a FAQ document on the developer's website points to a game similar to the team-members' previous work, which included the Diablo series of click-and-slash PC adventures. "We have not announced specifics concerning the game," it says, "but we believe that fans of our previous games will find a real affinity with our current project."
Other than that all we really know is that it will provide "hundreds of hours of compelling and addictive gameplay with a strong focus on fostering a vibrant online community." And although the same FAQ doesn't rule out an MMORPG ("We haven't announced what genre our first game will fall into,") it does state that Flagship aims to integrate "many of the fantastic community aspects found in these - and many other - multiplayer focused games." You can read more of the FAQ here.
Interestingly, Bill Roper stated yesterday that the team does not expect its first game to appear at E3, and the company has no fixed release date in mind. Flagship's philosophy seems to be that you can't rush these things, which is a brave approach to take - and something Namco deserves brownie points for supporting.
By the sound of it, we can expect to hear more about Flagship's debut product when there's more to hear...