When Mark Pacini, Todd Keller, and Jack Matthews - three of the top guys at Retro Studios (Metroid Prime 1, 2, and 3) - left the second-party Nintendo developer last April, no one really knew what they would be doing. Now we have confirmation from a press release that Pacini, Keller, and Matthews have founded a new independent development group called "Armature Studio." Their new strategy "leverages a small core creative team and partners them with strategic external developers." What that means in tl;dr is that Armature needs a larger publisher or developer to bring their wonderful little ideas to life.
To achieve their goals of making totally awesome independent games, Armature has signed a "long term, exclusive" publishing agreement with Electronic Arts. Yes, you heard that right. The once-dominant publisher known for quashing small developers under its iron boot of CAPITALISM is embracing small development. If anything is to convince you that EA is turning around their image, this should be it.
Finally, Nintendo fanboys should keep in mind that these guys are not, in fact, Retro Studios, so there's no Nintendo console exclusivity. Mark Pacini points it out nicely: "What really gets me going is that now, no platform is off limits. That is just something we didn't have the ability to do before." Are you ready Xbox 360 and PS3 gamers? You're about to get your socks knocked off by the developers of one of the best console franchises ever.
Keep your browsers locked at Ani-Gamers for Armature's first game title announcement.[via Joystiq]