XCOM 2 art director's new studio aims to spark 'a golden age of turn-based games'

(Image credit: Take-Two)

We liked XCOM 2 an awful lot, awarding it a whopping 94% in our 2016 review—the kind of score we don't hand out lightly. So we'll definitely be keeping an eye on happenings at a new studio called Bit Reactor, announced today by co-founder Greg Foertsch, formerly the art director at XCOM and Civilization studio Firaxis.

Bit Reactor will focus on developing turn-based tactics games, a genre Foertsch believes has been largely left behind in recent years.

"As game genres of all-types see refreshed takes in this new generation of technology, one thing is clear in that turn-based tactic games have been greatly overlooked and have an enormous amount of room for innovation," Foertsch said.

"We have a very team-oriented culture and we’ve assembled an amazing group of talented, experienced and dedicated game developers to inject rich storytelling, immersive presentation and rock solid game mechanics to give this genre its rightful time to shine—a golden age of turn-based games is upon us."

The studio currently has an unannounced project in development, and while no details were revealed (or even teased), it sounds like Bit Reactor is aiming to get beyond the core strategy audience. 

"There are ways to tell stories and convey information that doesn't require a wall of text," he told GamesIndustry.biz. "That's what we're focused on—bringing that to the genre, and really blurring that line between what a strategy game is and what an action game is."

He also noted that the strategy genre as a whole is "malleable," saying that while games like Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle and Gears Tactics are completely different on the surface, "they all have the same DNA underneath them."

"If you lead with story and immersion, I think you can find ways to just make a great game and not just make a strategy game," Foertsch said.

There's not much to see yet, but you can keep up with what's going on at Bit Reactor at bitreactor.com.

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.