Aether Studios is being constructed around its first project, a new, nonetheless-untitled combating game with 3D graphics that’s set in the same universe as Rivals of Aether. It’s also planned to serve as the “entrance-facing home” of prospective work in the Aether universe, which includes a forthcoming series of comic books. The Aether games currently on the market will proceed, at least for now, to be revealed through creator Dan Fornace‘s self-titled LLC.
The original game, Rivals of Aether, debuted on Windows and Xbox One in 2017. It’s self-billed as a “platform fighter,” putting it in the same genre as Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros., and was constructed by and for fans of that series. The original creator of Rivals, Fornace, worked at Microsoft Studios between 2011 and 2014, where he was the lead designer on the first season of content for the 2013 revival of Killer Instinct.
Like Smash, characters win in Rivals by throwing their opponents off-screen, rather than combating to a knockout. The cast of Rivals are anthropomorphic animals, each of whom has been imbued with particular elemental powers, as part of a larger struggle between warring civilizations on the planet Aether.
Rivals has a pro league, the Rivals Championship Series, and 2 spin-offs. Lovers of Aether began as a 2019 April Fool’s joke, which recasts the characters as high school students in an all-ages dating simulator, and Creatures of Aether, a card game for mobile devices, launched last September.
Aether Studios has arrived! Our goal is to create the best new combating game franchise.
Learn more: https://t.co/gGkJWVOQ0m
— Aether Studios (@StudiosofAether) April 12, 2021
With the founding of Aether Studios, this marks the official move to turn the world of Aether into a full-blown multimedia franchise, in part because many of the most wellliked combating games on the market today are all drawing on universes with at least 20 years of lore behind them. There’s a lot of cultural momentum constructed up behind something like Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat, and Aether wants to tap into that.
“We want to construct incredible combating games,” the company wrote in its official announcement, “and we also want people to care about our roster of characters. Our other games and stories give us the chance to highlight our characters.”
Aether Studios is currently hiring staff to work on its 3D combating game, including artists, animators, and programmers that are acquainted with Unreal Engine 4.