People Can Fly trio depart for new start-up

Warsaw studio signs Unreal Engine deal; Debut project due 2013

Three developers who recently worked at Epic Game's Poland studio, People Can Fly, have announced their own start-up outift.

Adrian Chmielarz is aiming to Fly higher with The Astronauts

Known as The Astronauts, the new Warsaw studio is founded by Adrian Chmielarz, Andrzej Poznanski and Michal Kosieradzki,

The group has signed a long-term Unreal Engine licensing agreement, Epic Games said, in a move that will allow the new team to take advantage of technology they are familiar with.

People Can Fly, thought to house about sixty development staff, is perhaps best known for its standalone project Bulletstorm. The group has since worked on a number of ports and dev support for other Epic projects. Currently it is helping on the upcoming Xbox 360 exclusive, Gears of War: Judgement.

The Astronauts is likely working on a completely new IP with Unreal Tech. Its debut project is due for release 2013.

"We've worked with UE3 for the last six years, and we know its power," said co-founder Adrian Chmielarz.

"We are on a quest to map uncharted waters, and Epic's tech provides the stability required for success," he added.

Epic Games has lost a number of key staff in recent months.

Chmielarz departed from Epic while Gears of War executive Rod Fergusson left to join BioShock Infinite studio Irrational in August.

Design Director Cliff Bleszinski, meanwhile, announced his resignation in October.