Vicarious Visions founders' new studio Velan signs publishing deal with EA

Vicarious Visions founders' new studio Velan signs publishing deal with EA

EA has signed a publishing deal with the new studio from Vicarious Visions founders Guha and Karthik Bala.

The Balas’ new company, Velan Studios, has been snagged by EA’s Partners third-party publishing division, who will be publishing the studio’s first project in a new IP on PC, mobile and consoles.

No details are given on what this secret game may be, besides the emphasis on a “new and entertaining way to experience team-based action.” Velan is scaling up to take on the new project, adding 40 new roles to its roster.

“Exploring the boundaries of play with new technology and play patterns is what makes us tick,” said CEO and co-founder Karthik Bala, in a press release.

“Our plan was always simple: build an awesome team, find the magic in something new that the team was passionate about and then enable their success. We are looking forward to introducing their vision and evolving it along with players for many years to come.”

The Balas brothers are notable for founding Vicarious Visions back in 1990. Under their leadership, the New York firm was responsible for working on killer franchises like Skylanders, Guitar Hero and Destiny. 

EA Partners and EA Originals general manager Rob Letts added: “Velan’s vision for this new game experience is very inspiring, and when we played it, we were immediately captured by how engaging and unexpectedly compelling it was.

“Helping discover pioneering talent with ground-breaking games the world needs to play is what we’re here to do, and we look forward to partnering with Velan to deliver an experience that will push the boundaries of original IP and innovation.”

This isn't the first time that EA has been keen to work with former Activision talent. Respawn Entertainment - founded by Jason West and Vince Zampella - was part-funded by the EA Partners programme, before the publishing giant snapped up the studio at the end of 2017. West and Zampella previously founded Infinity Ward and created the Call of Duty franchise. 

Staff Writer

Natalie Clayton is an Edinburgh-based freelance writer and game developer. Besides PCGamesInsider and, she's written across the games media landscape and was named in the 2018 100 Rising Star list.