New awards for video game company

HORSHAM-based games company The Creative Assembly has been showered with praise during the end of year award season for its hit 2011 videogame Total War Shogun 2.

The game has been named Strategy Game of the Year by numerous publications, including PC Gamer and Gamespot UK, but has also received recognition from American games blog Kotaku for the in-game music.

Jeff van Dyck, The Creative Assembly’s (CA) audio director, said: “It’s great to hear that Kotaku listed Total War Shogun 2 in their Best Game Music of 2011 list.

“I found it quite inspiring to work on the series again after a few years break.

“Working and recording with Taikoz, who are an Australian taiko group, brought the music to a new level from the original Shogun Total War.”

The original game won a BAFTA back in 2001 for the music, and last year CA received an Ivor Novella award for Best Original Videogame Soundtrack for their game Napolean: Total War.

“Shogun 2 is our most polished Total War game yet”, said Al Bickham, communications manager for the Horsham studio.

“It marks the culmination of years of research, planning and hard work.”

Released to widespread critical acclaim last March, the game drops players into the politically fractured world of 16th century Japan.

The next expansion to the game, entitled ‘Fall of the Samurai’, is due for release this coming March.

“This is a really major expansion to Shogun 2, and deals with the Boshin War of the late 1800s”, said Mr Bickham.

“This was essentially the birth of modern Japan; a period of great social upheaval and conflict, and an absolutely fascinating era for players to explore.

“We’re taking ‘Fall of the Samurai’ across Europe, the US, and Australia over the next few weeks.”

The studio’s new 10,000sq ft office at Spire Court off Albion Way was opened in May of last year by Ed Vaizey, government minister for Communication, Culture and the Creative Industries, and features a recording studio among other state-of-the-art facilities.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Creative Assembly”, said Mr Vaizey. “They are a fantastic company, and a great example of the technical expertise and creativity that exist in the UK, and act as a bedrock for the success of the games industry in this country.”

The new office was designed with backing from Sega to allow CA to commence work on a mysterious new console game based on the Alien film franchise. The studio has been busy hiring around 200 new members of staff to work on the project since the announcement in May 2011.

The next instalment in the film series, titled Prometheus, is due for release in cinemas this summer.

“We’re all massive fans of the Alien series of films”, added Mr Bickham, “and there is lots of talk about a mass cinema outing for the team to the Capitol Cinema in Horsham.”

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