North Carolina Gets New Game Studio

Posted by jgaudiosi :: Industry Trends

DukesThe Raleigh-Durham Triangle of North Carolina is becoming a hotbed for videogames. Epic Games, makers of "Unreal Tournament" and "Gears of War," is based in the area, as is Red Storm Entertainment, makers of "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 1 and 2." Now, Sentinel Studios, an independent developer of entertainment software, has opened. Paul Potera, best known for his leadership role with Ubisoft-owned Sinister Games, and Marc Racine, former co-owner of Vicious Cycle Software, sit at the helm of the five-man console game development team with over 50 years combined industry experience.

Potera and Racine most recently produced licensed titles for Octagon Entertainment.  Over the past year, the duo shipped more than 30 SKUs on platforms including the PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance, and the PC.   The pair intends to develop retail games as well as downloadable content for the next-generation console and handheld market going forward.

“The value that Marc and I bring to publishers is a deep knowledge of game production as well as strong ties with international partners,” said Paul Potera, co-founder of Sentinel Studios.  “Producing over two-dozen titles within challenging development constraints during the past year compelled us to identify the market segment we deem most attractive.  Now we will pursue it aggressively.”

In December of 1998, Potera joined fledgling Sinister Games as VP of Production. While at Sinister Games he oversaw the production of "Shadow Company," "Soldier," "Batman: Gotham City Racer," and two "Dukes of Hazzard" games. In 2000 Sinister was the first US studio to be aquired by Ubisoft Entertainment. He remained at Sinister as the Managing Director until May of 2003.

Racine was production director and project leader for several games, including "Robotech: Battlecry," "Dinotopia: The Sunstone Odyssey," "Robotech: Invasion" and "Spy Vs. Spy."

“Paul and I have a long history of working with licensed properties as well as original IP,” commented Sentinel Studios Co-founder Marc Racine.  “Leveraging our in-house development talent in coordination with our overseas partners will be integral to increasing profitability and mitigating risk for our strategic partners.”

I moved to the Raleigh area four years ago from San Francisco. Today, the city is flourishing. In four year's time it will usurp Charlotte as the largest city in North Carolina. It's routinely named as one of the best places in the nation to start up a technology company and one of the best places to retire. With big game studios already here, it's likely Raleigh, over time, will become like Austin, TX and Dallas, TX, which sprouted gaming start-ups around the region over the years.

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