Veteran PC game designer Chris Taylor has announced that he is leaving World of Tanks publisher Wargaming to establish his own independent studio. His time at Wargaming is a big question mark, as Taylor wasn't working on any announced projects. Some expected either a new version of Total Annihilation or a World of Tanks RTS, but nothing popped up since his studio's acquisition by Wargaming in 2013.
"Between Gas Powered Games and Wargaming, it was an eighteen year stretch and I wore myself out and didn't realize it," Taylor told GamesBeat. "I've decided i need to take a few months off, regroup, and recharge before I dive into my next thing."
Taylor himself has been working in the gaming industry since 1988. He began as a software engineer for Distinctive Software, designing Hardball II for PC. Then he moved to Electronic Arts for 4 years, before jumping to Cavedog to become the lead designer on Total Annihilation. That title would end up being the defining game of Taylor's career: an RTS where players massed a huge army to pummel their enemies.
In 1998, Taylor founded Gas Powered Games. While there, he lead the creation of Dungeon Siege, Supreme Commander, and their sequels. In 2013, Gas Powered Games started a Kickstarter for a game called Wildman with a funding goal of $1.1 million. When it was clear the project wouldn't reach its goal, the Kickstarter drive was cancelled. That same year, Gas Powered Games was sold to Wargaming.com, becoming Wargaming Seattle.
"Wargaming can confirm that Chris Taylor, general manager of Wargaming Seattle, has resigned from his position," Wargaming said in a statement. "We thank Chris for his passion and excitement, where he was instrumental in growing our Seattle team into a world class developer."
"As head of development Matias Myllyrinne has put it, 'Chris is a seasoned leader and one of a kind creative visionary whose projects inspired a whole generation of people to pursue a career in video games. He has laid down the foundations for Wargaming Seattle. One behalf of everyone at Wargaming, I'd like to thank Chris for his many contributions over the years and wish him all the best in his new endeavors.'"
Taylor will announce what's next after his sabbatical, but he told GamesBeat that he wouldn't be working for a larger company again.