Former Crytek Sofia leads launch a new studio called Black Sea Games [Updated]

The leads of the Sofia, Bulgaria-based Crytek Black Sea, one of five studios that Crytek officially ditched earlier this month, have launched a new indie outfit known as Black Sea Games. The new name is actually an old one: Crytek's Bulgarian studio was originally founded in 2001 as Black Sea Studios by Vesselin Handjiev, who's heading up the "new" company as managing director.

Black Sea Studios developed two games in its pre-Crytek days, the 2004 RTS Knights of Honor and the 2008 tactical RPG WorldShift. "Our mission is to create hard-core games that will entertain you over and over again," the studio's website states. "We believe the best gaming experiences are coming from challenging the players with meaningful choices, while giving them the freedom to create (and share) their own in-game stories." 

Black Sea Games has a new project on the go, but said it's not yet far enough along to be revealed to the world. Before the split from Crytek, it had been working on Arena of Fate, a free-to-play MOBA that was announced in 2014. The first round of Arena of Fate closed beta testing came to an end in early November, but its fate in the wake of Crytek's plan to refocus on "premium IPs" isn't known. 

The existence of Black Sea Games was actually revealed on Twitter in mid-November, more than a month prior to the news of the Crytek closures, and the official announcement of its relaunch was made on December 23. However, what with the hullabaloo of the holidays, it wasn't widely noticed until today.

Update: The post originally indicated that Crytek Black Sea had been renamed to Black Sea Games. Handjiev has contacted us to clarify that Black Sea Games is a new studio.

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Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.