Dan Pinchbeck, who co-founded The Chinese Room 15 years ago, has announced his departure from the studio. He is best known for creatively leading the UK team and working on games like Dear Esther and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture.
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
Pinchbeck shared the news on The Chinese Room website, thanking all his former colleagues, including the studio’s co-founder Jessica Curry (“my soulmate and partner-in-crime, without whom TCR simply wouldn’t exist”).
Speaking of the reasons behind his decision, he cited the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Like for so many other people, we lost friends and family during the pandemic and this has certainly played a part in my decision to see what’s out there in the world beyond the studio I’ve dedicated the last fifteen years to building,” Pinchbeck noted. “It’s been a time of taking stock and considering what ifs.”
And so for me, all things have their season, and it’s time for something new. TCR isn’t two artists in a bedroom anymore, it’s a studio employing over a hundred developers working on multiple, great titles. It’s time to step back and focus on being an artist again – writing, travelling, making. It’s been a wonderful journey and now it’s the start of a new adventure.
co-founder of The Chinese Room
The Chinese Room, named after philosopher John Searle’s thought experiment, started in 2007 as a small team at the University of Portsmouth. They developed various horror mods for Half-Life 2, such as survival horror project Korsakovia.
Dan Pinchbeck was a writer and designer on the studio’s debut game, exploration title Dear Esther. As the creative director, he contributed to all of The Chinese Room’s games, including Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, and Little Orpheus.
Last month, the studio announced Still Wakes the Deep, a first-person narrative horror game co-written by Pinchbeck.