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Interview: We chat with Sam McGrath about Fractiv, what happened to Project Offset and more

It was a game project that was in the works at the biggest PC processor company in the world. Videos and screenshots of the game, code named Project Offset, generated a ton of excitement among PC gamers who saw it. And yet the project from developer Offset Software never came to pass as Intel canceled the project earlier this year.

What happened to what could have been one of the most innovative PC games ever made? In his first interview since the shut down of Project Offset, the developer's founder Sam McGrath tells Big Download why Intel wanted to have a game development team in the first place, what Project Offset was really supposed to be about and why Intel finally canceled the game. He also gives us the final word on if the team was able to keep the rights to the game and its graphics engine, the formation of his new game developer Fractiv and much more.

Project Offset officially shut down at Intel; founders launch Fractiv LLC [Update]

It looks like the long-in-development PC first person shooter called by its code name Project Offset by the development team Offset Software is officially shut down at its home at the PC processor maker Intel. Big Download contacted the the company to get an update on this long-in development project and received this response via email today:

Intel purchased Offset Software to improve our game development knowledge-base and to further Intel's visual computing technology development expertise, helping the company offer robust products, support, and tools to customers. With the recent changes in our product roadmap, some of the resources and technologies from the acquisition are being re-applied to help support new graphics related projects. Additionally, other Offset Software team members have moved onto other external projects outside the company.

The changes in Intel's product roadmap in the statement most likely refer to the company's decision to cancel the high-end graphics chip product code name "Larabee" that was shut down as a commercial hardware product last December.

Offset Software launched in 2005 and was formed by several former members of S2 Games who previously helped to develop the engine for the developer's first game in the Savage series. The development team released some test footage from the game, Project Offset, that showed a graphically rich first person shooter set in a fantasy world. In 2008 the company was purchased by Intel but development of Project Offset continued. While little of the game's development was made public a couple of test videos were released on YouTube that looked very impressive.

We have been told by the Intel PR rep that the founders of Offset Software have launched Fractiv LLC, a new game development studio. A quick WHOIS check of fractiv.com (which aside from an email address has little on it) does show that the domain is owned by Sam McGrath, one of the founders of Offset Software. We have emailed McGrath and other Offset Software team members to find out more about Fractiv including if they have the rights to continue development of Project Offset at their new company.

Update: Sam McGrath has responded back to our inquires with this statement: "Yes, we have indeed parted ways with Intel and I, along with the other original founders of Offset, have started Fractiv. Unfortunately I can't say any more than that at this stage but I'm looking forward to answering your questions in the near future."
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