Heavy Iron Studios
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|Founded||August 31, 1999|
|Lyle Hall (President & CEO)|
Number of employees
Heavy Iron Studios, Inc. (formerly Chemistry Entertainment) is an American video game developer based in Manhattan Beach, California. The studio was founded by Steve Gray, he would then sell the company and it would be renamed while also becoming an internal studio of THQ on August 31, 1999. Then following several cost reduction efforts, THQ announced had that they would spun off Heavy Iron Studios to become an independent company, becoming effective on June 1, 2009. Following several years of being an independent company, the studio has been acquired by Keywords Studios for US$13.3 million, in September 2020, which was occurred in January 2021.
The studio was founded under the name Chemistry Entertainment by Steve Gray, who previously worked at a number of visual effects companies like Robert Abel and Associates and Digital Domain, ran the Software Tools Group and built the first Motion Capture Lab for EA Canada, and was the uncredited general manager on the American side of the development team of Parasite Eve for Square. Most of its early staff came from the American team of Parasite Eve, and for a while partnered with Canadian company Rainmaker Digital Effects in addition to doing work on a number of unreleased games. Eventually they were hired by THQ to work on a game based on the Evil Dead franchise, and while on its early stages of development, on August 31, 1999, Steve Gray sold the company to THQ where it was renamed as Heavy Iron Studios. Their first game, Evil Dead: Hail to the King, was released in late 2000.
In 2001, Steve Gray left to work back on EA, and Lyle Hall took over his position as the company's manager. Afterwards they were ordered to only work on licensed games based on franchises owned by THQ, most notably SpongeBob SquarePants and various Pixar movies, many of which received generally mixed to favorable reviews and were huge financial successes. In 2004, Heavy Iron received an Outstanding Impact nomination and won a Best Team award from THQ for their work on The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and The Incredibles, both released that same year.
As a result of financial troubles and a cost reduction effort, THQ announced on March 17, 2009, that Heavy Iron would be spun off as an independent company, which was effective on June 1, 2009, with Lyle Hall being named as both its president and chief executive officer. During this period, their staff was reduced from 120 to 60 employees following several rounds of layoffs. SpongeBob's Truth or Square was their first game finished and released as an independent company in October 2009. Since then they have worked on a variety of games for other publishers, usually in the position of a support studio. In 2015, they released their first fully original game, Fat City.
|2000||Scooby-Doo! Night of 100 Frights||PlayStation||Early version of the game with a different plot and gameplay style.|
|2007||Toy Story 3||Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii||Early rejected version. Final game was developed by Avalanche Software.|
|2008||SpongeBob SquarePants: Happiness Squared||PlayStation 2, Wii||Altered and retooled into SpongeBob's Truth or Square.|
|2010||Saints Row: The Cooler||Xbox 360, PlayStation 3||Fighting game spin-off of the Saints Row series that required the Kinect/PlayStation Move.|
|Disney’s E-Ticket||Xbox 360||Early rejected version of what eventually became Kinect: Disneyland Adventures, developed by Frontier Developments.|
|Family Guy: Road to Death||Xbox 360, PlayStation 3||Altered and retooled into Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse.|
|2011||Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse||Wii, Nintendo 3DS||Alternative versions of the game for Nintendo consoles with a different gameplay style.|
- "The Interview: Steve Gray". October 14, 2010. Retrieved 2021-07-25.
- "KEYWORDS AGREES TO ACQUIRE HEAVY IRON, EXPANDING GAME DEVELOPMENT SERVICES". Retrieved 2021-07-25.
- "Heavy Iron Studios, Inc. Celebrates its 10th Anniversary!". Heavy Iron Studios. May 31, 2019.
- Radd, David (March 17, 2009). "THQ Spinning Off Two Developers, Potentially Closing Another". GameDaily. Archived from the original on April 21, 2009. Retrieved March 18, 2009.
- "Keywords splashes $13.3m on Heavy Iron Studios acquisition". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved 2020-09-17.
- "Evil Dead: Hail to the King". May 12, 2000. Retrieved 2021-08-31.
- "Rumor: Big Layoffs At Heavy Iron Studios [Update]". December 21, 2009. Retrieved 2021-08-31.
- "Keywords Studios completes $13.3 million acquisition of Heavy Iron Studios". Retrieved 2021-07-25.
- "Amazon Odyssey". Heavy Iron Studios; Vive Studios. October 26, 2017. Archived from the original on June 26, 2018. Retrieved June 26, 2018 – via Steam.
- "H1Z1". Heavy Iron Studios. Retrieved 2020-09-17.
- "Proto:Scooby-Doo! Night of 100 Frights". tcrf.net. The Cutting Room Floor. Retrieved 2021-08-31.
- "Toy Story [PS3/X360/Wii – Tech Demo]". Unseen64. September 17, 2009. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
- "Toy Story 3 (Xbox 360) demo". March 27, 2018. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
- "Toy Story 3 Prototype (Xbox 360)". Archived from the original on 2021-12-13.
- "Sponge Bob early video game demo". Archived from the original on 2021-12-13.
- Robertson, Liam (September 29, 2014). "Saints Row: The Cooler [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3]". Unseen64. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
- "SAINTS ROW: THE COOLER demo (unreleased)". Archived from the original on 2021-12-13.
- Robertson, Liam (September 29, 2014). "Disney's E-Ticket [Xbox 360 - Prototype]". Unseen64. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
- "Prototype Xbox 360 Disneyland E-Ticket Kinect". Archived from the original on 2021-12-13.
- "Prototype Xbox 360 Disneyland E-Ticket Kinect - Jungle Cuise". Archived from the original on 2021-12-13.
- "Family Guy: Road to Death (Xbox 360)". March 27, 2018. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
- "Family Guy: Road to Death Prototype". Archived from the original on 2021-12-13.
- "Family Guy: Road to Death trailer". Archived from the original on 2021-12-13.
- Robertson, Liam (October 11, 2014). "Family Guy: Back To The Multiverse [Cancelled – 3DS / Wii]". Unseen64. Retrieved August 31, 2021.