Wolfpack Studios

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Wolfpack Studios was the video game studio that originally created Shadowbane.

Contents

History

Wolfpack Studios was founded in 1999 by text-MUD veterans.

Founders

  • J. Todd Coleman, now the creative director and co-founder of ArtCraft, the studio creating Crowfall.
  • Josef Hall who is now the vice president and creative director of KingsIsle Entertainment.
  • James Nance, who went on to become the lead designer of Wizard 101 at KingsIsle Entertainment.
  • Robert Marsa, now the CTO of Adometry, a company owned by Google.
  • Patrick Blanton, now the VP of Client Success at Criteria Corp.

Wolfpack's sole product was Shadowbane and its two accompanying expansions: Rise of Chaos and Throne of Oblivion.

Wolfpack Studios and its intellectual property were acquired by Ubisoft in March of 2004 for an undisclosed amount.

The studio was closed in May 2006. Key developers moved on to KingsIsle Entertainment, Inc., but especially Stray Bullet Games, LLC. where most of the developers came together.

Story of Stray Bullet Games (as told by the Founder)

Wolfpack Studios founder J. Todd Coleman explains the history of Wolfpack and Stray Bullet Games.

J. Todd Coleman wrote:
Quick history lesson. I'll keep it brief.


Wolfpack Studios created Shadowbane. There were 5 founders: me, Josef Hall, Robert Marsa, Patrick Blanton and James Nance.

The team size fluctuated a bit, but generally was between 25 to 35 people. Most of the guys that you know (ashen, nazgul, ben, meridian) were hired by Wolfpack during development.

After we launched Shadowbane, we signed a deal with Vivendi Universal to create another (never announced) MMO. We hired a team to run that project, but it got cancelled because VU felt like they were stretched too thin on MMOs. (Remember, this was pre-WOW.)

UbiSoft acquired Wolfpack Studios about a year after the SB launch. All of the Wolfpack founders left either at that time, or shortly thereafter.

The team that we hired to run the VU project took over management of the studio for Ubi Soft.

From this point forward, keep in mind that my knowledge is based on second hand info, because I wasn't there. Ben would probably be a better person to ask, but from my recollection:

The team ran as UbiSoft/Wolfpack for a while, supporting SB and putting out a 2nd expansion pack.

Some time later, the executive team did a management buy-out to take the studio independent again (meaning they bought it back from Ubi Soft) and they named the new company "Stray Bullet Games." They continued supporting SB as a third-party developer under contract, until Ubi Soft eventually decided to shut the game down.

A few years later, a Chinese company called Chang You acquired the rights to Shadowbane, and announced a game called "World of Shadowbane." From the marketing materials, it looked to me like the game was intended primarily for the Chinese market (where SB was quite popular.) I don't recall seeing anything else about that game since the announcement, so the current status is unknown.

Hope that helps,

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