Gardens: Former Journey, Skyrim & Spider-Man Devs Announce New Studio

Focused on "collective growth".


2022 seems to have come swinging out of the gate with a host of video game studio acquisitions, so it’s refreshing to hear the news about the formation of something new. Today, veteran game developers with experience on games like Journey, Skyrim, Spider-Man, Edith Finch, Ratchet & Clank and more, have come together to announce a brand new game studio, Gardens.

Founded by Chris Bell, Lexie Dostal and Stephen Bell, Gardens are hoping to redefine game development by opting for a remote-first studio, allowing all of their employees to work from home if they need it. The studio will have its roots in both Portland and Los Angeles, but they’re looking far and wide for talent.

Gardens is also hoping to create a more positive work environment for its employees, promising competitive pay, equal salaries across departments based on years of experience, mentorship, stock options, unlimited PTO, 35-hour work weeks and a generous benefits package including full medical, vision, dental, 401K contributions and more. It sounds like a great place to work, though time will tell if these promises stay true.

Chris Bell, the studio’s co-founder, said the following in a press release: “With Gardens, we wanted to create a studio that cares as much about the health, happiness, and wellbeing of its team members as we do the craftsmanship of the games we create together. Our top priority is making sure our teammates enjoy their lives and are given the tools and resources to grow while creating compelling, well-crafted, thoughtful games that cultivate novel shared experiences between players online.”

As for their debut game, Gardens are working on a game that’s designed to build on the foundations of “shared online experiences” that we’ve seen in games like Journey, Sky: Children of the Light and Ashen, all of which had developers who are now working at Gardens. The final game will see players “crossing paths in a mysterious and magical world driven by the concept art of ma-ko“.

After a successful round of funding in July 2021, raising $4.5M, the team are now looking to grow, with multiple vacancies listed on the official website. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing more of what Gardens have to offer in the near future.

READ MORE: 22 Most Exciting New Indie Games of 2022 & Beyond

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