Mystery RTS studio revealed as Smoking Gun Interactive

A mysterious press release sent out last week hinted at the formation of a new studio led by Company of Heroes producer John Johnson. The text pointed to cryptic website, Latin for "rise", which was quickly recognized as a hotbed of secrets relating to both the studio and their first project. Now that Smoking Gun Interactive is out in the open, John Johnson has a lot to say about his plans for the fledgling studio.

Smoking Gun will focus on broadening the real-time strategy genre by looking for ways to "revolutionize and merge the strategy genre with others". According to Johnson, offers a few clues about the game. One group of fans discovered a trail of hints leading to an abandoned airfield in Death Valley. Two runways crossed there, forming an "X" that hid an "artifact" buried by the Smoking Gun team. A plaque was there with strange markings and Morse code that read "this is smoking gun". A video of the unearthing is embedded after the break. Note to other game studios: this is how you promote your game.

An interview on is filled with more of Johnson's often cryptic thoughts on his studio and videogames in general.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.