Why Iron Galaxy Is Happy To Remain Independent Amid the Games Industry Acquisition Craze

Why Iron Galaxy Is Happy To Remain Independent Amid the Games Industry Acquisition Craze

When Xbox bought Activision Blizzard and Sony bought Bungie to start 2022, it set off a frenzy of speculation among industry observers. Suddenly it seemed that not a single acquisition had been taken off the table.

In such an environment, Iron Galaxy might seem like the perfect target for a large platform holder. In addition to being a well-known studio for hire, Iron Galaxy has worked on popular franchises such as Uncharted and Killer Instinct, and its CEO, Adam Boyes, is directly affiliated with PlayStation.

However, for now, Iron Galaxy seems to be happy to be independent.

“[S]”Many doors are open and I love that,” Boyce tells IGN. “And since we are independent, we have the opportunity to continue the path to freedom, to check everything and see what is based on our corporate values.”

Activision Blizzard deal compared to other major acquisitions

Boyce, an avid game developer who rose to prominence as Sony Interactive Entertainment’s vice president of publisher and developer relations, compares his current acquisition craze to his childhood in British Columbia, where his father worked as a lumberjack. Essentially, he says, platform holders like Microsoft and Sony are clearly defining the competition, in the process setting the stage for attracting new studios.

Iron Galaxy, he says, is in a good position. “Before we thought, we have to accept it or we have to accept it,” Boyce says. “We have some freedom to work on new things. So that’s cool.”

Bionic Commando

Originally founded in 2008, Iron Galaxy saw success with sports titles such as Bionic Commando and Bioshock 2 before releasing Divekick in 2013. Iron Galaxy expanded to Orlando in 2012 and is about to open its third studio in Nashville to other ponds and attract fresh talent. Iron Galaxy co-founder Dave Lang says the studio was a “mouse” in its early days, which Chelsea Blasco, the third member of Iron Galaxy’s executive triumvirate, jokingly takes offense at.

Blasko, Lang and Boyce form a comedy trio of sorts, singing each other’s lines and speaking quickly on a variety of topics. Boyce jokes that he is an optimist, Blasko is a realist, and Lang is a pessimist. Boyce joined the group after leaving SIE in 2016, partly because he wanted to get back into active development.

While Iron Galaxy has grown significantly over the past decade, its three executives are still far from corporate. Lang wears his familiar baseball cap and hoodie, while Boyce sports a beard that covers his chin. They are relaxed as they discuss Iron Galaxy’s recent growth, as well as original projects like Rumbleverse, which Boyce says has been partly shelved to give it “more content, more modes, more everything… make sure everything is super polished and awesome” . .”


Left to right: Adam Boyes, Dave Lang and Chelsea Blasco.

Iron Galaxy has managed to stay active throughout the pandemic, with its latest release being Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection, which launched on PS5 in January. Asked what it was like working with Naughty Dog, the band talked about how the Iron Galaxy programmers were “jealous of how beautiful Naughty Dog’s code was.”

“The last thing I want to do is speak for Naughty Dog. Right? But I think looking at this code, you can see the decades of work put into this code, which is why their games are so different,” says Lang.

“It’s craftsmanship,” agrees Boyce.

“Yes exactly. This is custom game development, which most people don’t do, right? It doesn’t make her internally better, it doesn’t make her internally worse, but this is Naughty Dog. And I think that’s my biggest thanks to them. Their commitment to this approach that they’re taking is really kind of humiliating.”

Other recent Iron Galaxy projects include Spyro Reignited Trilogy ported to PC, as well as Diablo III and Overwatch for the Nintendo Switch. Ports and remasters of Iron Galaxy are crafty in the sense that they rarely add unique features ⁠ – although the Legacy of Thieves Collection did add some cool ⁠ DualSense functionality – but overall they work well. In an industry that likes to promote studios as rock bands, Iron Galaxy are like roadies doing less glamorous jobs while other bands get more attention.

The challenge, according to Lang, is “true financial independence.” Iron Galaxy is still dependent on finding partners and paying on time. That’s the price of freedom for a studio like Iron Galaxy, Lang says. Either way, the past decade has been a good one for Iron Galaxy, as evidenced by the expansion of the Nashville studio. This has allowed Iron Galaxy to go its own way even amid the ongoing acquisition frenzy.


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