How ‘Halo’ Veteran Harold Ryan Plans To Revolutionize Game Studio Culture

Given the imminent arrival of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, the recent releases of games like like Crash Bandicoot 4 and Star Wars: Squadrons, and with countless blockbusters on the horizon, you’d be forgiven for losing track of every major gaming development–even if they had the potential to fundamentally transform the way the industry operates. This month, ProbablyMonsters took another step towards shaping how games could be made, and it’s one you shouldn’t overlook.

The company, which exists to “unite, guide, and empower talented teams to create exceptional interactive experiences”, announced the creation of its third, yet-unnamed studio, led by creatives from the critically acclaimed Borderlands and Torchlight franchises. The chief architect behind this, ex-Bungie CEO Harold Ryan, is no stranger to success–and he doesn’t plan on breaking old habits.

Ryan, whose 25-year career in the Pacific Northwest has seen him generate over $5 billion of revenue through iconic franchises such as Halo, Destiny, and Age of Empires, established ProbablyMonsters after leaving his role as CEO, president, and chairman of the board at Bungie in 2016. 

Now headquartered in scenic Bellevue, Ryan has a pioneering vision for game studios–one he modestly discussed exclusively with Forbes.com. “With ProbablyMonsters, I’ve been given the opportunity to create something unique–the first of its kind,” he says. “We’re a new category of game company.”

ProbablyMonsters’ MO is simple: to build a family of developers with “strong and compatible cultural bonds that transcend from studio culture” and to the games they develop. With it, the organization will bring some better news to an industry that’s plagued by countless, disheartening headlines