The ever-growing digital landscape of gaming has welcomed another creative genius: AJ Grand-Scrutton, the co-founder of Dlala Studios, who has managed to capture the poise of the industry with his innovative approach to game development.
Grand-Scrutton’s journey began at the tender age of four when he received his first console, an NES. An avid gamer ever since, his childhood dreams revolved around game creation, specifically wanting to develop character-based games like Mario. In the school playground, while his peers daydreamed about becoming astronauts or firemen, AJ had his sights firmly set on the gaming industry. “I am very lucky that my entire family has always supported me and been an inspiration,” says Grand-Scrutton. His Uncle Steve, his earliest mentor, introduced him to the world of computing and programming.
In his late 20s, AJ acted on his lifelong dream by converting his parents’ garage into the birthplace of Dlala Studios. The unyielding support from his parents and his now-wife became integral to his journey, never once questioning him but always backing his decision.
Today, Dlala Studios distinguishes itself as a creative hub rather than a problem-solving tech firm. The company, under Grand-Scrutton’s leadership, develops immersive games with existing Intellectual Property. These range from Battletoads to Mickey Mouse, always merging modern game development techniques with classic approaches like hand-keyed animation. For AJ, being a part of an industry brimming with creative talent and game-changing studios propels him to strive for nothing but the best.
Reflecting on the future of the industry, Grand-Scrutton recognizes that we stand at an incredibly exciting juncture in the realm of game development. He lauds the recent advancements in game engines that have notably heightened the realism in gaming.
However, in the next decade, Grand-Scrutton believes the focus will shift from realism to stylization as the industry looks for creative ventures to differentiate themselves. He recalls how, a decade ago, the spectrum was divided between small, creative indie games and substantial AAA games. Now, the dichotomy has melted away to welcome a hodgepodge of game forms. He’s excited by the prospect of shattering the ‘indie vs AAA’ narrative, as the sector will rendezvous at the intersection of creativity and innovation, regardless of their scale.
The DNA of Dlala Studios lies in the energy and lifelong zeal of Grand-Scrutton. He’s proven time and again that his passion for game creation knows no bounds. His journey provides an inspiring narrative for young creators, showing how support, kinship, and an unwavering love for one’s passion can reshape life in unimaginable ways. The future of gaming seems promising with visionaries like AJ Grand-Scrutton at the helm. For him, it’s not about AAA or indie, it is and will always be about making “awesome games.”