The U.S. dropped the gold standard for its currency in 1971. Now, a new game is going to explore the “real” reason why.
Shark Punch is a new studio from a small group of former Disney Interactive developers. Jiri Kupiainen, Shark Punch’s chief executive officer, founded the company along with designer Aarne Hunziker and programmer Leo Lännenmäki. They are working together on The Masterplan, which is Shark Punch’s first game and not a diabolical plan to rule the world. It uses ’90s-era side-scrolling action combined with ’70s style to explore what really happened to the United States of America’s gold reserve. The Masterplan is due out for PC, Linux, and Mac later this year.
“We were talking about how we’d all recently played this or that ’90s game that we had such great memories about and how crappy the experience turned out to be in reality,” Kupianen said. “That’s when it hit us: Instead of talking about how those games could be made better, we should be doing something about it.”
The Masterplan has players putting together a crew, gathering up equipment, and creating a plan to execute a major heist. Shark Punch is looking to classic films as well as turn-based tactics games for inspiration, but it is currently only teasing how the final product will play.
Shark Punch is also planning to show off The Masterplan at the upcoming Game Developers Conference later this month in San Francisco.
The founders of Shark Punch first started working together in 2010 at HTML5 developer Rocket Pack. Disney acquired the studio in 2011 with the intention of using its technology to build web games.
With this new studio, Shark Punch is following a recent indie trend that is leading developers back to making games for PC. Where a new studio might have focused on mobile in the last few years, more are ceding that market to the major free-to-play developers like King and Supercell.
On PC, Mac, and Linux, small studios have a much better chance of selling premium games thanks to Valve’s Steam platform. That digital-distribution network is responsible for nearly three out of every four PC games sold, and indie studios regularly top the best-seller chart.