Gardens, a new studio from the minds behind Journey, Spider-Man, and Skyrim, has been announced

by on February 2, 2022

A brand new gaming studio known as Gardens has today been revealed. What’s more, they’ve been founded by huge talent from across the gaming world. The Co-founders of Gardens are Chris Bell (Journey, What Remains of Edith Finch, Sky: Children of the Light, Way), Lexie Dostal (Dustforce), and Stephen Bell (Blaseball, What Remains of Edith Finch). Not only that, but the team features developers from games such as Marvel’s Spider-Man; Ratchet & Clank; Skyrim; Fallout; Ashen; and The Hobbit.

So far, these are the current members of an ever-growing development team:

  • Executive Producer Sarah Sands (Fullbright, Nike, DirectTV)
  • Lead Artist Ryan Benno (Spider-Man, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Telltale Games The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, and Ratchet & Clank)
  • Principal Engineer Rose Dale (Skyrim, Fallout 3, Fallout 4)
  • Senior Engineer Roldán Melcon (Blaseball, Where Cards Fall)
  • Gameplay Engineer Tonia Beglari (Monster Hunter World: Iceborne XR Walk, The Under Presents)
  • Art Director Leighton Milne (Ashen, The Hobbit). 

Gardens is built on the initiative of growing a studio that’s “transparent, sustainable, inclusive, and empowering.” They intend to make “vibrant online games that foster meaningful multiplayer moments between players around the world.” It’s an exciting announcement, given that Chris Bell, one of the co-founders, was part responsible for perhaps the most incredible online experience of all time in the wonderful Journey. The whole team comes from a talented background, and it’s going to be interesting to see what happens.

Gardens: Health, happiness, and wellbeing

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,” said Chris Bell, Co-founder of Gardens. “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.

The team are based primarily in Portland and Los Angeles. So many online games are known for toxic environments. It’s a joy that a team purposefully want to build a happy and safe place. Wanting to build lasting friendships and encouraging others in a multiplayer environment is an overwhelmingly positive idea. After all, who wouldn’t want to have a happier online environment?

I decided to join Gardens after my first meeting with the founders. They’re such genuine and thoughtful leaders who understood all the reasons I left the games industry, and explained why and how they were going to do things differently at Gardens,” said Sarah Sands, Executive Producer. “I’m thankful every day that I get to help build a studio that is focused as much on creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and respected as it is on creating amazing innovative games.

Although no game has officially been announced, some information has been revealed. their first title is set to build upon the “special ways members of the team have designed shared online experiences in the past.” With so much talent on offer, we can’t wait to see what comes next from Gardens.

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