It was the shared nostalgia for a classic game that pushed three budding Australian game developers to form their own studio, Team Cherry, in 2012. Ari Gibson, William Pellen, and David Kazi from Adelaide bonded over Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and have added a hot-selling title of their own to gaming’s metroidvania kingdom. Like many successful studios, this one came from humble beginnings.
“Ari has a kind of intense mesmeric charm to him. He looked deep into our eyes and told us that from now on we would be making cool video games with him,” recounted Pellen to Brutalgamer. “We all got together for a couple of game jams and then we decided to give a full-size game a crack! It’s been great fun.”
Combining a game-jamming mentality with massive animation talent, Team Cherry broke into the big leagues in 2014–15 aided by their very successful Kickstarter campaign and numerous stretch goals. More than delivering on their early promise, Hollow Knight was released in February 2017 and is keeping half-a-million side-scrolling, bug-zapping gamers very happy.