Star Theory Games

Star Theory Games (formerly Uber Entertainment Inc.) was an American video game developer based in Bellevue, Washington. Founded in March 2008 by Bob Berry and Jonathan Mavor, it released its first title, Monday Night Combat, in 2010 to positive reviews. The company assumed the name Star Theory Games in 2019. It wound down in March 2020 after the contract for its game Kerbal Space Program 2 was canceled by publisher Private Division, which set up a new studio and hired a large portion of Star Theory's staff in December 2019 to continue the game's development, before Star Theory and its remaining staff became unable to secure new publishing agreements as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Star Theory Games
FormerlyUber Entertainment Inc. (2008–2019)
TypePrivate
IndustryVideo games
FoundedMarch 2008; 14 years ago (2008-03)
Founders
  • Bob Berry
  • Jonathan Mavor
DefunctMarch 4, 2020 (2020-03-04)
FateDissolved
Headquarters,
US
Key people
Products
Number of employees
30 (2019)
Websitestartheory.com

HistoryEdit

Uber Entertainment was founded by Bob Berry and Jonathan Mavor in March 2008 in Bellevue, Washington.[1][2] They became the studio's president and chief technology officer, respectively.[3][4]

In September 2012, the company successfully ran a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for its real-time strategy title, Planetary Annihilation. The fundraiser produced over US$2.2 million in funds. The original retail release was slated for December 2013,[5] but was postponed, with the game expected "to be feature-complete in early 2014."[6]

On March 31, 2014, Uber Entertainment announced PlayFab[7] as a spinout to continue development of their UberNet back-end gaming service. On January 29, 2018 PlayFab was acquired by Microsoft to form Microsoft Azure PlayFab.[8]

On October 2, 2014, Uber Entertainment announced a new Kickstarter campaign for a real-time strategy game, Human Resources. The goal was set for $1.4 million, though the project was cancelled October 21, 2014 after projections showed the fundraiser would fail to raise the needed capital.[9]

On August 18, 2015, Uber Entertainment released Planetary Annihilation: Titans as a stand-alone expansion to Planetary Annihilation.

On August 17, 2018, Planetary Annihilation Inc[10] was founded to continue development and publishing of the Planetary Annihilation and Planetary Annihilation: Titans games.

At the 2019 Gamescom, Uber Entertainment announced it had changed its name to Star Theory Games, and was working with publisher Private Division, a subsidiary of Take-Two, to produce Kerbal Space Program 2. Creative director Nate Simpson said that the name change was due to their prior name being confused with Uber, the car-share company; Simpson noted that Uber had previously gotten permission from them to use the "Uber" name before, which they had granted.[11] The original Kerbal Space Program had been produced by Squad, but Take-Two acquired the rights to the series in 2017, helping Squad to publish and meet their commitments to their players before handing over the intellectual property.[12] Private Division opted to bring in Star Theory, a larger team but with similar capabilities, to work in parallel to develop the sequel while assisting Squad with the original game.[13]

However, Take-Two announced it had created a new studio within Private Division in February 2020, later named Intercept Games, and had transferred development duties of Kerbal Space Program 2 there; along with this, members of Star Theory, including creative director Nate Simpson and studio head Jeremy Ables, had joined with this new studio, leaving Star Theory's role in the game unclear.[14] According to Jason Schreier for Bloomberg News, around December 2019, shortly after they negotiated an extension to complete work on the game, Take-Two wanted to acquire Star Theory but Berry and Mavor did not like the terms of the deal, so Take-Two instead established Intercept Games and offered all Star Theory staff a position there, while Berry and Mavor encouraged the staff to stay with Star Theory. By February about twelve of the 30 staff had moved to Take-Two, and Kerbal contract was pulled from them by Take-Two. The remaining staff had planned to prepare prototypes and have material ready to present to publishers at the March 2020 Game Developers Conference, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference and others like it were closed down. Star Theory Games was shut down on March 4, 2020 as a result; some of the staff ended up at Take-Two to join the former staff.[1]

Games developedEdit

Year Title Platform(s) Notes
2010 Monday Night Combat Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360
2012 Super Monday Night Combat Microsoft Windows
2013 Outland Games iOS
Toy Rush iOS, Android Collaboration with Tilting Point
2014 Planetary Annihilation Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
2015 Planetary Annihilation: Titans Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows Stand-alone expansion of Planetary Annihilation
2016 Wayward Sky PlayStation 4 For PlayStation VR
2017 Dino Frontier PlayStation 4 For PlayStation VR
2023 Kerbal Space Program 2 Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One Development moved to Intercept Games in 2020

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Schreier, Jason (June 3, 2020). "Game Publisher Cancels Contract With Developer, Then Tries to Poach Its Entire Team". Bloomberg News. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  2. ^ Berry, Bob (January 12, 2009). "When does a Startup Graduate?". Uber Entertainment.
  3. ^ Berry, Bob (August 27, 2008). "Letter from the President". Uber Entertainment.
  4. ^ Mavor, Jonathan (August 27, 2008). "Introductions". Uber Entertainment.
  5. ^ "Planetary Annihilation Kickstarter Page". Kickstarter, Inc. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  6. ^ Brad Nicholson (2013-12-06). "Planetary Annihilation Now Coming When It's Done". Uber Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2013-12-08. Retrieved 2013-12-07.
  7. ^ "Former PopCap exec starts PlayFab to help game studios with back-end support". GeekWire. 2014-03-31. Retrieved 2020-06-03.
  8. ^ "Microsoft acquires PlayFab, accelerating game development innovation in the cloud". The Official Microsoft Blog. 2018-01-29. Retrieved 2020-06-03.
  9. ^ Comes, John (October 20, 2014). "The End is Nigh". Kickstarter, Inc. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
  10. ^ "Planetary Annihilation Inc: The Future of PA and Titans". Planetary Annihilation: TITANS. 2018-08-17. Retrieved 2020-06-03.
  11. ^ Robinson, Andy (August 23, 2019). "An In-depth Conversation With The Creator Of KSP2". Video Games Chronicle. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  12. ^ Phillips, Tom (31 May 2017). "Kerbal Space Program bought by Rockstar parent company Take-Two". Eurogamer. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  13. ^ Savage, Phil (August 19, 2019). "Kerbal Space Program 2's new devs on adding interstellar flight, colonies and more to the PC's greatest space sim". PC Gamer. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  14. ^ Robinson, Andy (February 20, 2020). "Take-Two forms new studio for KSP2, with original developer's role unclear". Video Games Chronicle. Retrieved February 20, 2020.

External linksEdit