Updated: People Can Fly insists New York studio is new organisation, not Defiant Studios acquisition

Updated: People Can Fly insists New York studio is new organisation, not Defiant Studios acquisition

Update - 7/6/19: People Can Fly has responded to's request for clarification on whether its New York office was, in fact, an acquisition of local developer Defiant Studios. 

The Polish games firm revealed this US outpost earlier in the week. It's being headed up by David Grijns, who founded Defiant Studios in 2016. There are also another ten former Defiant Studios employees working at People Can Fly New York, begging the question whether this was a new developer or an acquisition of Defiant. 

According to People Can Fly, it is the former.

"People Can Fly U.S., LLC opened a brand new studio in New York City, in a new office and location," a spokesperson said.

"New York offered a wide pool of exciting talent to build our new team from. This included some talented and experienced people from Defiant who wanted to join our new team."

Original story - 6/6/19: Polish games firm People Can Fly has set up shop in North America.

The Bulletstorm and Painkiller maker has said it has established a studio in New York, its fourth in total, following its Warsaw, Poland headquarters, the Newcastle, UK outfit set up in September 2017 and its second Polish location in Rzeszow, in May 2018.

The New York outfit is being headed up David Grijns, who has held roles at the likes of Activision Blizzard, John Woo's Tiger Hill Entertainment, MTV Games, Atari and Avalanche Studios. Before being appointed studio head for People Can Fly's North American outfit, he set up a company called Defiant Studios in April 2016, working with Rockstar Games, Warframe maker Digital Extremes and troubled Swedish developer Starbreeze.

Interestingly, of the 15 people currently listed on LinkedIn as working at People Can Fly working in the New York area, 11 previously worked at Defiant Studios, begging the question whether the Polish outfit has set up a new development house or simply bought Defiant Studios.

Defiant Studios is still down as an active company in New York State's Division of Corporations listings, with People Can Fly US also registered as its own organisation - as of May 28th, 2019

We've reached out to People Can Fly for comment. 

Right now, People Can Fly New York is made up of 30 members of staff, with the firm giving no indication of how large it wants to grow. 

Previously, Defiant was previously working on a sequel to CI Games' Lords of The Fallen but was taken off the project last month. Incidentally, the company also trademarked 'Megalodon' on July 31st, 2018. This was suspended on February 7th, 2019. This is pure speculation on our part, but this could have been a project that Defiant was working on before People Can Fly came into the picture. 

"It's an amazing time for People Can Fly," People Can Fly CEO Sebastian Wojciechowski (pictured) said.

"With the opening of our New York studio, we will surpass 200 staff, which will help us accelerate the development of our triple-A project with Square Enix. At the same time, People Can Fly now has a strategic foothold in one of the greatest cities in the world by which to attract world-class talent. David and Roland have a fantastic track record in building and managing high-quality teams. I look forward to working with them alongside our existing studios in the UK and Poland."

Grijns added: "When we first met Sebastian, we could tell right away that we shared a similar vision. Sebastian immediately saw the unique opportunity our team represented, and we were amazed by the game People Can Fly has been working on for the past few years. We couldn't be happier to help build upon People Can Fly's incredible track record and history and to work hand in hand with the amazing teams in Warsaw, Rzeszow and Newcastle. We are also thrilled to be reunited with our old friends at Square Enix."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.