emptyvessel Announced as New AAA Development Studio Rooted in Creative Independence

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emptyvessel Announced as New AAA Development Studio Rooted in Creative Independence

Veterans from Top Game Companies Including id Software, Naughty Dog, and Activision Form New Wave of Gaming to Work on Inaugural Immersive Shooter 

AUSTIN, Texas — March 12, 2024 — With Creative Independence, Comes Greatness… emptyvessel today reveals itself as a new independent AAA games studio committed to ushering in a new wave of development focused on creating high-quality, meaningful games that feel great to play. Comprised of world-class developers who have worked on iconic franchises including DOOM, Quake, Call of Duty, Last of Us, Borderlands, Tomb Raider, Uncharted, Callisto Protocol, and more, the studio aims to share its specialty in the immersive shooter space with its first unannounced title. 


emptyvessel is led by CEO and Game Director, Emanuel Palalic, and COO and General Manager, Garrett Young. While both served in critical roles at id Software they bonded over the desire to create an environment where developers have the freedom to explore new ideas. Joining Palalic and Young on the studio’s foundational team are CTO Wei Ning , Art Director Alex Palma, Animation Director Rico Flores, and more. emptyvessel is based in Austin, Texas, but operates fully remote with its staff located worldwide – United States, Australia and Europe, to suit the personal needs of each team member.


“Many game developers like myself began our journey fueled by the dream of one day bringing our worlds to life,” said Emanuel Palalic, CEO and Game Director, emptyvessel. “By prioritizing and aligning with our strengths, we’re confident it’s possible to create AAA-quality games with smaller, focused teams. The industry has often overlooked the people who pour their hearts and souls into crafting these worlds. With emptyvessel, we’re determined to change that narrative and make that dream a reality for as many developers as we can.”


A developer-founded, developer-first studio, emptyvessel is driven by its mission to make top-quality games and its passion for taking risks to create new refreshing types of entertainment experiences. emptyvessel aims to break from the traditional business models and work together towards a common vision of a future powered by people and creativity, where the industry is moved forward by teams of great game makers. The studio’s approach is to create a space to foster the innovation of a nimble, core team of AAA-level talent while empowering them to create high-quality IPs with more attainable scope.

Click to watch the emptyvessel teaser video on YouTube

“Our industry is at a crossroads between business and talent. At emptyvessel, we take a Developer-First approach to our direction and execution,” said Garrett Young, COO and General Manager at emptyvessel. “We understand every innovation in this industry has been led by a developer taking a risk — every new IP, every billion-dollar franchise. Gaming’s next massive hit can come from anywhere.”

The developers at emptyvessel are currently working on an unannounced first project that will leverage their experience in the immersive shooter space. Powered by Unreal Engine 5, their first game is inspired by film, graphic novels, and games set in dystopian sci-fi worlds.

emptyvessel is strengthened by a network of strategic partners who will help to realize their studio model and game goals. As an independently operated company, the leadership team has raised an initial seed funding round led by Sisu Game Ventures, with additional investment from private firms and individuals including Raptor Group, Bill Munk (co-owner, Tripwire Interactive), Dan Bunting (former co-studio head, Treyarch), Niels De Ruiter, Tommy Tran and more. The studio also has created an advisory board comprised of industry veterans including former Sony SVP Riley Russell (33-year gaming vet, and EVP at Kojima Productions). Award-winning composer Mick Gordon (DOOM, Borderlands 3, Prey) will partner with the team to create soundscapes for the studio, and their first project. In addition, emptyvessel has partnered with leading creative agency, PETROL Advertising, who will utilize their white label publishing services to lead campaign, brand strategy and go to market planning including creation of assets across Key Visuals, AV, and Social Media. PETROL will leverage their expertise from over 2000 successful game launches and implement it into a holistic approach with their partnership for the unannounced game.

More news about emptyvessel and its unannounced first project will be made available soon. For additional details visit the studio’s official website and follow them on X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn and YouTube.

About emptyvessel
emptyvessel is an independent AAA game development studio with a specialty in the immersive shooter space that believes in a simple ethos: with creative independence comes greatness. The team at emptyvessel is comprised of world-class developers with over 100 years of combined experience who have held critical roles at Activision, Crystal Dynamics, Disney, id Software, Microsoft, Naughty Dog, Tripwire Interactive and more. Based in Austin, Texas, the studio operates fully remote with development talent located worldwide in locations across the US, Australia and Europe. For further information, visit http://www.emptyvessel.io.