Castaway Entertainment to Close Operations

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Uncategorized

Castaway Entertainment had been founded on 2004 by ex-Blizzard North employees. Castaway president Michael Scandizzo recently announced the studio is about to close operations after failure to secure a couple of projects with a publisher. (More at Gamasutra).

On September 6, 2005 Rick Seis—former Blizzard North employee who led the studios after the 2003’s mass-resignations had joined Castaway Entertainment as its Technical Director and lead programmer. Mike Huang, who I interviewed a few years ago, during his eBay sale, was part of Castaway Entertainment.

A look into their background at Blizzard North according to their “About Us” Section:

Michael Scandizzo
Michael designed and built the Diablo II game server network, supporting hundreds of thousands of users around the world. In addition to architecting the structure of the code, advancing random level generation, writing a custom windowing system, and creating all the character creation and chat screens, he was also behind many of the popular skills in Diablo II , such as corpse explosion, necromancer curses, and firewall. Michael worked at Blizzard for five years.

Stefan Scandizzo
Stefan joined Blizzard Entertainment in 1998 as a level designer. While at Blizzard, he developed key functional elements for Diablo II’s random maze generation and also created much of the dungeon layouts using both his artistic and programming skills. He continued his level designing in Diablo II’s expansion: Lord of Destruction . In 2000, Stefan started producing 3D monsters for the character team for an unannounced upcoming sequel. Stefan worked for Blizzard for five years.

Rick Seis
Richard is an industry veteran with more than 11 years of experience on over 6 shipped titles with Blizzard Entertainment. Since starting in 1994 with Condor, Inc. (which later became Blizzard North), he has held positions of Programmer, Senior Programmer, Lead Programmer, Director of Technology, and Studio Lead. Richard has worked on titles for the Game Boy, Game Gear, Genesis, and the PC, but his real affection lies with the Diablo universe. He was a primary contributor in creating the Diablo universe and its subsequent games – Diablo, Diablo II, and Diablo II: Lord of Destruction – which have sold in the 10’s of millions of units. Before leaving Blizzard, Richard held the position of Studio Lead on an unannounced project.

The name of the Diablo-inspired game Castaway Entertainment had been working on these past years since 2004 was revealed to be titled Djinn. It is disappointing to see a good set of developers disband like this. Best wishes, and hopefully a publisher is able to inject some resources to keep the wheel going. Hopefully, Activision Blizzard gets the “cue” of my drift.

Check out their concept art section.

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