Undead Labs founder Jeff Strain announces new game development studio with $25M investment

Strain wants to establish a joyful, productive zone of creativity, positivity, and innovation.
Crop Circle Games's logo on a crop field drawing

Video game industry veteran Jeff Strain announced the official launch of a new game development studio dubbed Crop Circle Games. This is the second game development studio launched under Strain’s game-development label Prytania Media, the first one being Possibility Space. The newly formed gaming entity will focus on creating “emotionally engaging narrative-driven sandbox games around the pillars of hope, humor, and human empowerment.”

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The launch of the new game company was supported by a seed investment of $25 million led by Transcend Fund and other strategic partners. Crop Circle Games will have Jessica Brunelle as the Studio Director; the other team members will consist of Creative Director Doug Williams, Art Director Ocala Scott-Bellows, Design Director Nick Mhley, Tech Director Braeden Shosa, and Narrative Director Josh Scherr.

The studio’s Founder & CEO, Jeff Strain said,

“In a dispiriting political, economic, and environmental time of history, what a pleasure to be part of a team creating a joyful, productive zone of creativity, positivity, and innovation. It’s a genuine delight to be using my decades of successfully managing the business behind making games so that developers can focus on the creation of games.

“Trends come and go in this industry but balancing the non-flashy fundamentals of both game development and managing a business is how you build studios for the long run. I’m really excited to support this world-class team to bring this intriguing and somewhat unconventional title to players.”

Andrew Sheppard, Managing Director of Transcend Fund also commented,

“Transcend Fund is pleased to join a select group of investors in supporting Crop Circle Games, a new studio from Jeff Strain and Prytania Media, with a $25 million seed investment. Congrats Jessica Brunelle, Doug Williams, Josh Scherr and the team!”

Jeff Strain founded Undead Labs (maker of State of Decay games, a Microsoft-exclusive zombie survival) back in 2009 and left the company in December 2019. The game industry veteran also co-founded ArenaNet and worked as a Senior Programmer at Blizzard Entertainment.

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