Glen Schofield, founder of Striking Distance Studios and director of its first game, The Callisto Protocol, has announced he is departing the company. Schofield is perhaps best known as the co-creator of the Dead Space franchise and the co-founder of Call of Duty developer Sledgehammer Games. Steve Papoutsis, who previously served as chief development officer and general manager for Striking Distance Studios, has been appointed as the new CEO.
Schofield has been active in the games industry since the early 1990s, working at companies like THQ, Crystal Dynamics, and Eidos Interactive. In 2008, Schofield became known for his co-creation of the Dead Space franchise, which many point to as one of the best sci-fi-horror games of the decade. Shortly after Dead Space’s success, Schofield left Electronic Arts and Visceral Games to co-found Sledgehammer Games, which worked on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and Call of Duty: WWII under his supervision. In 2019, following a break from active development, Schofield founded Striking Distance Studios and began work on the game that would become The Callisto Protocol. Schofield acted as director on that game, which served as a spiritual successor to the original Dead Space.
Striking Distance Studios founder Glen Schofield
Unfortunately, upon release, The Callisto Protocol fell short of expectations, earning a 69 out of 100 on review aggregate site Metacritic (including a 6 out of 10 from Game Informer) and falling several million copies shy of publisher Krafton’s sales projections. In the same timeframe as The Callisto Protocol’s release, Electronic Arts and Motive Studio released a remake of the original Dead Space to critical acclaim. Last month, Striking Distance Studios suffered layoffs, letting go of 32 employees.
Newly appointed CEO Steve Papoutsis also comes from the Dead Space series, having worked on all three original entries while at EA and Visceral Games, including taking a leadership role with the franchise following Schofield’s departure. In the wake of today’s news, Papoutsis again slots into a role once filled by Schofield.
Newly appointed Striking Distance CEO Steve Papoutsis
“Creating Striking Distance Studios has been an incredible journey and I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved with The Callisto Protocol, a game close to my heart,” Schofield said in a press release. “While pursuing a new adventure is exciting, leaving SDS is bittersweet, but I know the studio is in excellent hands. Steve and I go way back to working at Visceral Games. I saw how successful he was in taking the reins after my departure then and how he continued the studio’s success and growth. That’s how I know he’s the one to lead the studio into its next chapter.”
There is currently no word on what Schofield will do following his departure from Striking Distance Studios, but the official wording is that he “has decided to pursue new opportunities.” For more on the creation of Striking Distance Studios and The Callisto Protocol, head here to read our in-depth cover story on the game.