Motorstorm creator and Evolution founder unveils new digital entertainment studio Starship

  • MotorStorm, WipEout and Formula 1 veterans unveil new studio 

Evolution Studios and Digital Image Design founder Martin Kenwright today unveils Starship; a Liverpool-based digital entertainment studio harbouring a dream-team of world-class talent hailing from the games, media, and marketing sectors.

Liverpool native Kenwright, who hit headlines with global gaming number one and PlayStation 3 launch title MotorStorm, returns to the industry following the sale of Evolution Studios to Sony Computer Entertainment in 2007.

Based in the Baltic Triangle, umbrella company Starship is home to several smaller studios. With a founding team of industry experts already in place, Starship will also use an outsourcing model which will utilise the talents of many companies and organisations across the city. The studio also aims to recruit a considerable number of staff over the next few years.

Led by senior veterans from renowned game development studios Evolution and Studio Liverpool, Starship’s core team of developers were hand-picked from the North-West by Kenwright. The team have collectively devised or delivered more than 69 games, including launch titles and AAA franchises such as MotorStorm, WipEout, Formula 1 and World Rally Championship. The flight and driving simulation experts now aim to lead the market in areas which extend beyond the sphere of traditional gaming, breathing new life into currently unloved sectors.

Developing original content across games, entertainment, lifestyle and e-health, Starship builds upon its core team’s gaming pedigree to create a proposition with interstellar ambitions. Further reaching and more disruptive than anything Kenwright has previously set out to achieve, work has already begun on multiple next-generation entertainment experiences that aim to move the industry forward with an entirely new approach to product, investment, sales and marketing.

“The name Starship hints at the height of our ambitions” explains Kenwright, who takes the role of CEO. “Evolution and D.I.D paved the way for what we’re doing now, we’re aiming to disrupt the market with revolutionary products that fulfil a genuine use and need for consumers.”

Kenwright’s work has been recognised by the British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTA) five times. Driven by the concept of a game-changing business model, he founded his third studio in 2013, drawing together senior industry talent to begin work on IP that aims to change the landscape of gaming and entertainment.

“I was never going to return to the industry to do something that people expected,” Kenwright explains. “I had five years away from making games, during which I came to the conclusion that gaming investment is broken, and because of that real innovation seems to have taken a backseat. The concept for Starship takes our AAA softology and wraps it around the antidote. The content that we’re working on now breaks new ground in a multitude of ways; in concept, in our approach to its creation, in how it’s funded, right through to how it’s marketed.”

And Kenwright makes no bones about his reasons for setting up in Liverpool. “The gaming and technology talent found in the north west of England is exceptional,” he explains. “Liverpool and the surrounding areas have an incredibly rich heritage, with studios such as Psygnosis, Evolution and Bizarre Creations creating world-beating titles that raised the bar for everyone else. Now the area that captured the attention of the globe is in the midst of a revival. We have the talent, increased quality of living, and we’re the second fastest growing economy outside of London. Liverpool is like nowhere else in the world, and without doubt the best location for a technology driven creative studio such as Starship.”

Kenwright is joined by former Studio Liverpool Director Clemens Wangerin who takes the role of Chief Operating Officer. “I’ve worked with many talented developers during my time in the industry and am very proud of the legacy of some of the titles we’ve released together,” he explains. “Starship contains many familiar faces and it’s been fantastic to see how quickly the team gelled together, a real testament to the professional attitude and excellent skill sets that exist in Liverpool’s and the North West’s game development community.

“Liverpool is arguably the birth place of the UK game development industry. Since the 1980s it has been a bedrock of creativity, commercial success and technical excellence. Our goal with Starship is to provide a global platform on which the city’s game and software development talent can shine.”

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “It’s always great news when we are able to welcome ambitious, innovative and creative companies to Liverpool, so I’m delighted Starship have chosen our city for their new home. Liverpool has a strong heritage in video games development, and it’s a strength we’re keen to build on, particularly given the emergence of the medium as one of the most popular global forms of entertainment.

“Martin Kenwright’s decision to set up in Liverpool is a major coup for us, and testament to how our business-friendly approach is helping attract the brightest talents. He brings with him real pedigree, expertise and a huge amount of respect within the games industry, internationally. Best of all, Starship’s launch in Liverpool creates new jobs and opportunities for local people. I wish the company every success for the future, and look forward to them writing more successful chapters in Liverpool’s gaming history.”

Further announcements on the company’s endeavours are expected at the Los Angeles gaming convention, E3, which takes place on June 10th to the 13th.

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