“In diversity there is beauty and there is strength. We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of that tapestry are equal in value no matter their color.” — Maya Angelou
Today I am excited to announce Brass Lion Entertainment, a new diverse and inclusive entertainment studio that I’ve been working on building with some amazing folks, since early 2017. Brass Lion is focused on creating original fictional universes that center on Black and Brown characters, cultures, and stories, something we feel is sorely lacking right now. Brass Lion is founded by Bryna Dabby Smith, Rashad Redic, and myself, Manveer Heir. Between us, we’ve worked on numerous award-winning video games such as Fallout 3, Mass Effect 3, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and Sleeping Dogs and we look forward to bringing this expertise towards building our own franchises that can take form in video games, film, TV, comics, novels, podcasts, and other forms of media. The December 2019 issue of Game Informer (The Blizzard Issue) has a four page article on the studio, our philosophy, and our first universe and is available now digitally and on newsstands in the coming weeks.
It’s no secret that the video game industry workforce in North America is predominantly white and male, and that those homogeneous creative voices are disproportionately in charge of creative in games, compared to the demographics of the players. While there is a push to diversify the representation of characters and stories in games, it’s happening fairly slowly and often without the inclusion of creatives and developers who represent that diverse tapestry. As a result, we are left with an industry that often misses the mark when it comes to representing our collective communities and cultures.
Our goal at Brass Lion Entertainment is to diversify the video game industry, one fictional universe at a time, and expand them into other forms of entertainment, such as film, TV, comics, and podcasts. We want to let all players be delighted by our franchises, no matter what their background and preferred medium is. Properties like Black Panther show that you can authentically center Black and Brown characters and creatives and still reach a global audience. We hope to use that as a model of how to build up our own original universes, the first of which we are excited to announce today.
Our First Universe — Corner Wolves
Today we are proud to announce our first universe, Corner Wolves. Corner Wolves is a fictional universe set in Harlem in the mid-90s, where Jacinte, a young Afro-Latina, embarks on a mission to find her father’s killer. Corner Wolves tells the stories of young people growing up in the hood, and how their lives are shaped and defined by the war on drugs, as they are caught between dope dealers, hustlers, and overzealous police.
We began the Corner Wolves project as an interactive project, but it quickly it became apparent that the universe we were creating had legs outside of interactive also, and so we are going to be bringing the universe to multiple media, both linear and interactive.
Corner Wolves is being penned by acclaimed writer and journalist, Evan Narcisse (Marvel’s “Rise of the Black Panther”). Music supervision is being handled by multi-Platinum, Grammy award winning producer Just Blaze (whose work spans from Jay-Z’s classics like The Blueprint and The Black Album, to Drake’s Take Care, Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D City and Beyoncé’s Lemonade).
Both of these men grew up in the New York area, have a relationship with Harlem, and are some of the best in the business. We are enormously excited to be working with them on the Corner Wolves universe as we bring it life in various forms.
The Future Is Now
Know that Corner Wolves is just the tip of the spear for Brass Lion Entertainment and you will be hearing much more from us over the coming months and years. We hope to be a force of positive change that will let people have more diverse options to pick from when it comes to great sources of entertainment.
Brass Lion Entertainment is committed to diversity and inclusion of ALL developers and we look forward to proving that with our actions over the coming months and years. Our sincere hope is that other studios are inspired to follow our lead and realize that diversity in entertainment is more than just a check-box; it’s a way to achieve high quality, authentic results and expand sales into new demographics and audiences, which are growing by the day, while telling unique and compelling stories. Only time will tell, but we believe that Brass Lion Entertainment can be integral to Black and Brown stories and the experiences of historically marginalized people being represented in video games and entertainment. I cannot wait to share more with you on Corner Wolves and our future universes, but for now please follow us on social media (@BrassLionEnt @CornerWolves), visit our website, and feel free to reach out to any of the co-founders via Twitter (@KingCurryThundr @BeeMe @SpiceBrotherOne). And check out the Dec 2019 issue of Game Informer for an exclusive first look of Corner Wolves.
Chief Visionary Officer — Brass Lion Entertainment
Creative Director — Corner Wolves