Supermassive co-founders and brothers Pete and Joe Samuels have announced their departure from the developer best-known for the brilliant Until Dawn (which coincidentally has just been announced for PC). Pete Samuels has been the Guildford-based studio's CEO since its founding in 2008, which came after a career including stints at the late great Psygnosis and Electronic Arts. Joe Samuels acted as the company's commercial director.
"After over 15 years as CEO of Supermassive Games, I have taken the very difficult decision to step down from my role and leave the business," said Pete Samuels on LinkedIn. "My decision is entirely on health grounds and hasn't been taken lightly. I am, and always will be, proud of what Joe Samuels and I founded all those years ago and filled with admiration for the Supermassive team and the amazing things that they have achieved.
"I remain excited about their future under a talented new leadership team led by Robert Henrysson that will guide Supermassive through the next stage of its incredible journey."
Henrysson is the new Supermassive CEO and is a partner at Nordisk Games, which in 2022 acquired the studio. He's previously been chairman and interim CEO at Avalanche Studios (the Just Cause developer, not the Hogwarts Legacy developer), and calls Supermassive "one of the leading studios in the world" adding "We're just getting started."
Henrysson also paid tribute to the departing brothers:
"The founders, Pete Samuels and Joe Samuels have built an incredible BAFTA-winning studio that has created games which have thrilled and terrified millions of players around the world. Lads, enjoy your next chapter and a well-earned rest."
"'Twas quite a ride: thanks to everyone I worked with along the way," said Joe Samuels. "I look forward to the great things the studio will do in the future."
The Samuels brothers built Supermassive into a studio that now employs over 350 people, though the road here wasn't all BAFTAs and massive success. It began by working on DLCs for other studios, released one entry in a cancelled Dr Who adventure trilogy, and then settled for a while into developing PlayStation Move experiences: Sony was still pushing the motion tech, which not only provided work but resulted in a Move prototype for the game that would become Until Dawn.
Soon re-tooled into a PlayStation 4 game after Sony began to cool on Move, Until Dawn was a breakout critical and commercial success, to the extent it defined Supermassive's future direction as a horror-focused studio. The studio's recent work is under the banner of the Dark Pictures Anthology, with the next game Directive 8020 being both the fifth entry and beginning a second season, whatever that means. It's also working on a singleplayer Dead by Daylight spinoff, The Casting of Frank Stone, and Little Nightmares 3.