Around four months ago, Capcom dissolved its Clover Studios development team, citing financial reasons. Clover Studios had been behind Capcom's Viewtiful Joe series, as well as the 2006 hits Okami and Godhand.
However, we may have seen a new beginning for Clover Studios in the form of SEEDS - an independent studio run by Shinji Mikami (the mastermind behind Resident Evil), Hideki Kamiya (creator of Devil May Cry and Viewtiful Joe), and Atsuhi Inaba (of Steel Battalion fame). Those three developers, all of whom have produced blockbuster titles as part of Capcom's production studios and the late Clover Studios, announced yesterday that they were leaving Capcom to work as a freelance developer - given the track record of those three producers, and the fact that they are essentially severing official ties with Capcom, this is some pretty big news.
Also of interest is that they haven't assembled a team yet. The revealing of their new studio also came with sort of a casting call. Here's a translation of their announcement:
Atsushi Inaba. Hideki Kamiya. Shinji Mikami. And a specially selected staff.
We are the Seeds that caused the vibrant flowers Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, Steel Battalion, Viewtiful Joe, and Okami to come into bloom.
Although we alight upon a different earth, even though the soil is different, our hearts -- closely pursuing the dream of "play" -- have not changed.
Now, with a renewed spirit, we want to once again challenge the world of entertainment. But to do this, we need many, many more seeds.
So, we are currently searching far and wide for people who want to work alongside us. For people who want to build their future. People who are currently making games elsewhere.
Would you like to make some "preposterously amazing" games with us?
Sounds a little self-indulgent, doesn't it? Of course, even though they are no longer iwth Capcom, it isn't out of the question for any of these designers to work on Capcom games, or even further sequels to their signature franchises. If Nobuo Uematsu can still provide musical numbers to FF games (he was credited as Smile Please Inc. for his work on FF VII: Advent Children and his contributed song to FF XII) and Masahiro Sakurai can direct and design SSB: Brawl despite leaving Nintendo and HAL Laboratories nearly four years ago, then the SEEDS team can still work for Capcom, but not as part of Capcom.
SEEDS hasn't revealed any games in development, as they are still working on personnel, after all.
Sources: WIREDSEEDS official website