A new studio named Gardens has been announced from the developers of Journey, Skyrim and Spider-Man.
Gardens was founded by Chris Bell, Lexie Dostal, and Stephen Bell. Each has a wealth of experience within the video games industry, with collective works of Journey, What Remains of Edith Finch, Sky: Children of the Light, and Dustforce between them.
Also joining Gardens are other talented industry veterans including executive producer Sarah Sands (Fullbright, Nike, DirectTV), gameplay engineer Tonia Beglari (Monster Hunter World: Iceborne XR Walk, The Under Presents), and senior engineer Roldán Melcon (Blaseball, Where Cards Fall), among others.
Co-Founder Chris Bell says: "With Gardens, we wanted to create a studio that cares as much about the health, happiness, and wellbeing of its team members as we do the craftsmanship of the games we create together.
"Our top priority is making sure our teammates enjoy their lives and are given the tools and resources to grow while creating compelling, well-crafted, thoughtful games that cultivate novel shared experiences between players online."
While being based in primarily in Portland and Los Angeles, Gardens functions as a fully remote studio. Refreshingly in light of many recent news stories, Gardens aims to be a studio "that puts transparency, health, and an inclusive work environment first, with equitable pay, mentorship, and a continued commitment to diversify the voices within".
While the studio has given away no specific details on its upcoming game, which for now remains nameless, it has promised a "mysterious and magical world" in which players will cross paths in. This new world will build upon "...the special ways members of the team have designed shared online experiences in the past".
This mysterious world will be created Gardens' art director Leighton Milne (whose previous work includes Ashen and The Hobbit) and an art team which will be led by Spider-Man and Ratchet & Clank's Ryan Benno, with concept art by ma-ko.