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Big Huge Games: Hot for Kirkhope

Insert "sad pinata" picture here.

That's who you think it is.
At nearly a month old I realize this news is totally fossilized in the blog world, but it's taken me this long to come to terms with the gravity of it. (My therapist said this post will help in the recovery process and that I'm somewhere past "denial" now.)

Anyway, on his MySpace blog longtime Rare composer Grant Kirkhope announced during the week of E3 that he was departing from the company, effectively shooting a big railroad spike straight through my heart. I'm a tremendous fan of Kirkhope's work; he was responsible for the Viva Pinata soundtrack--the lilting whimsy of which was largely responsible for my creepy, deep adoration for that game--as well as other significant Rare games going all the way back to stuff like Banjo-Kazooie and GoldenEye. Let's all thank our lucky stars the man apparently completed his work on Trouble in Paradise and Nuts & Bolts before giving Rare the slip. (Those guys finally posted most of the good tracks from Viva Pinata on their site, so go check that out and tell me what a weirdo I am for listening to it somewhat frequently.)

The other reason I wanted to post this: a week before E3, I'd actually already stumbled onto Kirkhope's MySpace profile while looking for pictures to post on his wiki page in an effort to beef up our people section prior to the site launch. That's when I made the stunning discovery about Kirkhope's not-so-secret past. A past that involved big amplifiers and bigger hair, a succession of metal bands, and, you know, hanging out with freaking VAN HALEN. (Dig the picture to the right for the shocking! photographic evidence. According to Wikipedia, dude plays an axe bequeathed to him by Eddie himself.) This is sort of like finding out that Hideo Kojima dons a costume at night and fights crime in the Tokyo underbelly, or Will Wright is working on a project to terraform Mars in his spare time. Wait, that last one might actually be true.

Whither Horstachio?
That's my favorite aspect about our gigantic database of game-related stuff: the list of people who make games has a way of humanizing or putting a face on the often anonymous process of game development. If you harbor some secret knowledge about your favorite game-makers (or hell, especially if you are a game-maker), go fill out the appropriate wiki! It's my sincere hope that one day we'll amass the biggest collection of useless developer-related trivia in the known universe.

As for Kirkhope, Music4Games reported that he's assumed the role of audio director at Big Huge Games, the people who made Rise of Nations and some other relatively dry strategy games that don't seem at all similar to Rare's typically whimsical fare. Hey Grant, wanna chat with us about what you're up to over there? Give us a shout: bombcast at giantbomb dot com. Brad Shoemaker on Google+
24 Comments
Posted by Brad
That's who you think it is.
At nearly a month old I realize this news is totally fossilized in the blog world, but it's taken me this long to come to terms with the gravity of it. (My therapist said this post will help in the recovery process and that I'm somewhere past "denial" now.)

Anyway, on his MySpace blog longtime Rare composer Grant Kirkhope announced during the week of E3 that he was departing from the company, effectively shooting a big railroad spike straight through my heart. I'm a tremendous fan of Kirkhope's work; he was responsible for the Viva Pinata soundtrack--the lilting whimsy of which was largely responsible for my creepy, deep adoration for that game--as well as other significant Rare games going all the way back to stuff like Banjo-Kazooie and GoldenEye. Let's all thank our lucky stars the man apparently completed his work on Trouble in Paradise and Nuts & Bolts before giving Rare the slip. (Those guys finally posted most of the good tracks from Viva Pinata on their site, so go check that out and tell me what a weirdo I am for listening to it somewhat frequently.)

The other reason I wanted to post this: a week before E3, I'd actually already stumbled onto Kirkhope's MySpace profile while looking for pictures to post on his wiki page in an effort to beef up our people section prior to the site launch. That's when I made the stunning discovery about Kirkhope's not-so-secret past. A past that involved big amplifiers and bigger hair, a succession of metal bands, and, you know, hanging out with freaking VAN HALEN. (Dig the picture to the right for the shocking! photographic evidence. According to Wikipedia, dude plays an axe bequeathed to him by Eddie himself.) This is sort of like finding out that Hideo Kojima dons a costume at night and fights crime in the Tokyo underbelly, or Will Wright is working on a project to terraform Mars in his spare time. Wait, that last one might actually be true.

Whither Horstachio?
That's my favorite aspect about our gigantic database of game-related stuff: the list of people who make games has a way of humanizing or putting a face on the often anonymous process of game development. If you harbor some secret knowledge about your favorite game-makers (or hell, especially if you are a game-maker), go fill out the appropriate wiki! It's my sincere hope that one day we'll amass the biggest collection of useless developer-related trivia in the known universe.

As for Kirkhope, Music4Games reported that he's assumed the role of audio director at Big Huge Games, the people who made Rise of Nations and some other relatively dry strategy games that don't seem at all similar to Rare's typically whimsical fare. Hey Grant, wanna chat with us about what you're up to over there? Give us a shout: bombcast at giantbomb dot com.
Posted by LCad

That sucks.  Banjo-Kazooie/Tooie soundtracks are among the greatest of all time.

Posted by Stokes

Not really familar with him, but thats awesome that he enjoys the ocassional guitar shreding.

Posted by CoolDrMoney

He made some really memorable soundtracks, it's too bad he's leaving

Posted by Artie

Eddie Van Halen should do the music for all future Rare games.

Posted by KimFidler

Now that is some magical hair.

Posted by CactusWolf

...Who's to say the Hideo Kojima one isn't true either?

Posted by Standing_Gopher

I'm glad he got to finish work on the new Banjo and Viva game at least. He's one of my favorite game composers.

Posted by DiGiTaL_SiN

That's too bad, I feel your pain. I would feel the same if they made a Metal Gear without Harry Gregson Williams for example (imdb profile) . That dude can compose espionage music like nobody's business. He's on par with Hans Zimmer in my book.

Posted by ahoodedfigure

Wait...  who do I think it is?

Posted by SaucySala

Oh man, that's really depressing. Viva Pinata's score is among my all time favorites.

That and Fable's score really hit the spot.

Posted by HibiscusExplosion

Yeah... who do I think it is?

TELL ME!

Posted by albedos_shadow

I'm pretty sure Hideo Kojima actually does don a costume at night and fights crime in the Tokyo underbelly.

Posted by Death_Burnout

Man the Viva Pinata soundtrack was legendary...shame

Posted by Aaron_G

Shame to see him go now.

Posted by keyhunter

The goldeneye soundtrack was pretty dang extreme.
Rare should recruit Frank Klepacki in his stead.

Posted by Ice_Cold_Rayman

I listen to some tracks from Banjo-Tooie every now and then. He did some great work with Rare.

Posted by watkinzez

It's not a true metal era Kirkhope photo if you can recognise him. How about this?

Posted by Smashlampjaw

That sucks, he made some epic video game musics.

Posted by Duffy

Wow that's insane.

Posted by EndlessMike

Comment on the Viva Pinata music: dude wat

Posted by EndlessMike

Also, I loved Rise of Nations but the soundtrack was terrible. Having him over there to make you feel more excited while you're fighting the British could be awesome.

Posted by PaulM

yea i would love to see the peoples section to get filled out a little more or maby if it said how they effected the development caus some people are linked to like 24 games a year so i know their not a director and probly voice acting or sound design but i would love to know for sure

Posted by duxup

Last news was that Big Huge Games is currently working on an RPG...