from “Dishonored” to “Deathloop”, the video game without formatting

“It was love at first sight! “ Dinga Bakaba still remembers the moment she found out dishonored, in 2010, during his first day of work at Arkane Lyon, just taken over by the American Bethesda Softworks (Skyrim). The video game, jointly developed by the French studio and its Texas subsidiary in Austin, was just a draft. “It was visionary. I never wanted to get out of there again and was like ‘I’ll do whatever I can to make this thing great’ “remembers the game designer.

What seduces him immediately? The ability of Dishonored encourage the player to be creative, crafty and improvise rather than rush into the pile. In fact, it prefers experiences that are not offered as turnkey solutions to pre-packaged concepts: “You emotionally appropriate a game when there is some intentional friction, that’s how it is”He explains. Dishonored multiplied “Game of the Year 2012” titles, feeding shelves lined with heterogeneous prizes in the lobby of the Arkane studio premises in Lyon, located in the La Confluence neighborhood.

This success has not only propelled the company among the most interesting French studios of recent years, but also gave a fresh start to Dinga Bakaba, now director of Arkane Lyon after producing a new flagship title, cycle of death (2021).

Arkane Studio's entrance overlooks an entire wall of awards.  In Lyon, September 26, 2022.

Hesitant beginnings

At 42, this Lyonese by adoption (he was born in Paris) makes no secret of the professional attempts and mistakes that preceded his arrival in Arkane. Installed on the large sofa in a room where there are shelves of consoles and games of yesterday and today, it dates back to the late 90s. In high school he struggled to find his place in the system school and stopped studying after graduation. At that time he intensely practiced capoeira, a Brazilian martial art mixed with dance and song, which led him to do extra jobs and participate in video clips. His sharp silhouette also indicates that he has not abandoned discipline; he wears the capoeira instructor costume twice a week, in his spare time.

Path ” incredible “ of his parents, two emigrants who have realized their professional dream, is then as much a model as a burden for the young man. His mother, originally from Algeria, is a university student. You have taught philosophy, psychology and have been dedicating yourself to African anthropology for some time. His father is the Ivorian actor, director, director and screenwriter Sidiki Bakaba, whose footsteps he briefly thought of following. “Both took the side of saying [à leurs enfants] : “You, you will do what you want and you can go your own way.” Oddly, it might have been a little scary. “he says.

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