He was particularly influential over the creation of the game’s sequel, Dead Space 2, leading conceptualisation and development.
During their time apart at rival studios, the pair most notably went up against each other with 2014’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – directed by Schofield – and Papoutsis’s Battlefield: Hardline.
At Striking Distance, which is working on an “original narrative experience” in the PUBG universe, Papoutsis will serve as chief development officer.
Striking Distance has hired a number of other Visceral and Sledgehammer veterans, including senior narrative director Scott Whitney (Dead Space, Advanced Warfare), chief creative officer Christopher Stone (Dead Space, Advanced Warfare), animation director Primo Navidad (Dead Space 1–3) and lead animator Tristan Sacramento (Dead Space 3, CoD WWII), according to their LinkedIn profiles.
According to a report, the co-founders’ departures have been exacerbated by the removal of Sledgehammer’s co-lead development duties on the 2020 Call of Duty game.
It’s claimed that the relationship between previous joint lead studios Sledgehammer and Raven had suffered so much that Activision moved them into support roles for the 2020 game.
According to Kotaku, Sledgehammer “has been haemorrhaging employees over the past few months, much to the dismay of those who remain.”