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Tim Willits Joins Saber Interactive

Fortune has word that Tim Willits is joining Saber Interactive as the company's Chief Creative Officer, following the news last month of his departure from id Software after 24 years. Saber Interactive is an independent American developer with offices around the world. Their catalog includes World War Z, Spintires: MudRunner, and NBA Playgrounds. In a connection with id Software, they also contributed to Quake Champions. Here's a bit that includes some quotes from Tim on his new post:

As CCO, Willits will help Saber shape its overarching creative vision, helping the company expand its existing player base and working with the studio’s 500-plus employees in five studios around the world to come up with new intellectual properties.

A multi-national studio with that many employees might not sound like most independent developers, but Willits says the work style is much the same as—and drastically different from—how things work at a large developer/publisher like Bethesda or Activision.

There was an appeal in returning to that sort of environment for him. Until 10 years ago, id was an independent development studio that was able to chase impulses and pivot quickly. The company (and Willits) worked with Saber on Quake Champions years ago, and he says he was impressed with their operation.

“The agility of small teams and the opportunity to get stuff done quickly can’t be overstated,” says Willits. “I’m not saying anything bad about Bethesda—I love them—but smaller teams are exciting and fun. When someone has a good idea, we jump on it. If it doesn’t work out, we change it quick.”

Saber’s looking to keep that design philosophy, but it’s not planning to stay stagnant. Willits says the company is actively looking for new teams and studios in which to invest.

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6. Re: Tim Willits Joins Saber Interactive Aug 13, 2019, 19:08 Carcifier
 
Heh. I just watched the "downfall" of Quake Champions video (that some guy made) on YouTube yesterday. I just kept thinking Willits was probably fairly responsible for that disaster. It's hard to separate responsibility when you're so much a part of the hype, seen in the video.

I give that fat emo boy credit for Doom's recent resurrection, ironically maybe for the same reason (it worked, whereas Quake Champions failed).

It makes me wonder if Willits was just a good level designer who got over-promoted to a position he couldn't succeed in or maybe just being a part of a large money hungry organization like Bethesda is too much to overcome consistently.

A title like C.C.O. has to come with a nice paycheck though.

 
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5. Re: Tim Willits Joins Saber Interactive Aug 13, 2019, 07:17 aka_STEVE
 
That move is from a guy who obviously isn't worried about money & would like to do something that he can control.

Might be something good come from it....
 
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4. Re: Tim Willits Joins Saber Interactive Aug 13, 2019, 00:04 DarkCntry
 
Cutter wrote on Aug 12, 2019, 22:29:
A 500 person studio and those games are the best they can come up with? Why so many people for such small and crappy games? I'd have assumed they were made by teams of 6-12 people at most.

500 employees across 5 studios...making them roughly 100 per, which isn't really all that big

That being said, your opinion on the quality of the titles and the size of the teams are really worth less than the bits it took to post your reply. According to Steam, MudRunner is a popular title, Metacritic shows World War Z with a 70...

The only title listed that would match your 'crappy and small' games would be NBA Playgrounds.
 
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3. Re: Tim Willits Joins Saber Interactive Aug 12, 2019, 22:29 Cutter
 
A 500 person studio and those games are the best they can come up with? Why so many people for such small and crappy games? I'd have assumed they were made by teams of 6-12 people at most.
 
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"Ah, Impressionists, the boy bands of the art world." - Sideshow Bob
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2. Re: Tim Willits Joins Saber Interactive Aug 12, 2019, 22:25 Bumpy
 
Seems a bit of an odd fit for Tim. But maybe with this group, he can knock out a new, near Doom-esque blockbuster game.  
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1. Re: Tim Willits Joins Saber Interactive Aug 12, 2019, 20:46 NKD
 
Whatchu talkin bout Willits?  
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Welcome to the Retirement Home for Old People Terrified Of Change
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