EA Inks Publishing Deal With New Game Studio From Vicarious Visions Founders

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EA CEO Andrew Wilson

EA Partners will publish the first game from Karthik and Guha Bala's newly formed Velan Studios.

EA Partners, Electronic Arts' third-party publishing division which has recently worked with Apex Legends developers Respawn Entertainment, inked a publishing deal with the newly formed Velan Studios from game developer Vicarious Visions' founders Karthik and Guha Bala for their first game, the companies announced on Monday. The title will be an original IP developed for consoles, PC and mobile.

Velan was founded in 2016 by the Bala brothers, who launched Vicarious Visions in 1990. The two left their company in 2015 to begin Velan, which boasts a development team of industry veterans that have worked on the Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Metroid Prime and Destiny franchises. To help develop the new game, Velan plans to double its current team by adding 40 jobs.

“In EA Partners, we found a team devoted to bringing breakthrough ideas to players everywhere. They believe in our creative vision and will use their best-in-class resources to support the success of our game,” said Guha Bala. “We started Velan Studios to make community-centered play experiences that are daring and distinctive from what’s being played today. We can’t wait to share the details of our first original game in the future.”

Specific details about the upcoming game were not revealed, but Velan said it will introduce a "unique game world" that will "pioneer an entirely new and entertaining way to experience team-based action."

“Velan’s vision for this new game experience is very inspiring, and when we played it, we were immediately captured by how engaging and unexpectedly compelling it was,” said Rob Letts, general manager of EA Partners and EA Originals. “Helping discover pioneering talent with ground-breaking games the world needs to play is what we’re here to do, and we look forward to partnering with Velan to deliver an experience that will push the boundaries of original IP and innovation to engage players in new ways.”

The Bala brothers are not strangers to signing publishing deals with major gaming companies. Vicarious Visions was acquired by industry giant Activision in 2005, and together the companies produced dozens of games, including numerous Guitar Hero titles and video game-movie tie-ins like 2008's Kung Fu Panda and Quantum of Solace.