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Panic Button

Panic Button is a video game developer based out of Austin, Texas. Founded in 2007 by four coworkers that worked together at Acclaim Entertainment, a now defunct video game publisher. The development studio is currently best known for their AAA video game ports from other platforms to the Nintendo Switch.

The founders of Panic Button, Craig Galley, D. Michael Traub, Russell Byrd and Aaron Smischney joined video game developer Inevitable Entertainment after leaving Acclaim Entertainment. Inevitable Entertainment was acquired by Midway Games in 2004 and renamed Midway Studios Austin. After the acquisition Midway decided to remove all game development responsibilities from the studio and tasked them with streamlining Midway’s development tools and technology instead.

The desire the four founders had to return to game development drove them to leave Midway and establish Panic Button at the end of 2007. In January 2008, they rented a small office space with aspirations to get back involved with game development by forming partnerships with other game studios and publishers.

In order to form a steady revenue stream, they developed a few low-budget titles while building relationships with other game studios. For several years, Panic Button worked silently in the shadows contributing to various games under development by other studios. They helped optimise Dragon Age: Origins to be able to fit on the limited memory available on the existing home video game consoles. They improved server stability for Star Wars: The Old Republic, created characters for ReCore and helped Ms. Splosion Man make it way onto the PC.

The development studio quietly grew over the years by assisting other game developers with their projects. In 2015, Panic Button began working with Psyonix and was given the opportunity to port Rocket League to the Microsoft Xbox One and add 4K support to the Sony PlayStation 4 Pro version of the game. The massive success of Rocket League drew demand for a Nintendo Switch port. In 2016 they developed a Nintendo Switch port of Rocket League and received recognition from the industry on how well the port came out on a system that was considered vastly underpowered in comparison to the other current generation consoles.

In 2017, the studio appeared to pull off the impossible by porting the critically acclaimed video game Doom to the Nintendo Switch. The industry was flabbergasted on how well the port came out and that it was possible to achieve a well-developed version of Doom on the Switch’s hardware. They continued to shock the industry by delivering extremely high-quality ports of technically advanced games such as Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and Warframe on the Nintendo Switch. Panic Button has set the standard in which other developers are compared to when developing games for the Nintendo Switch and continues to raise the bar with every release.

Panic Button logoPanic Button

TypePrivate
LocationAustin, TX
United States
DeveloperPanic Button
Founded2007
Number of EmployeesApproximately 50
FoundersCraig Galley
D. Michael Traub
Russell Byrd
Aaron Smischney
WebsitePanic Button Games

Known For:

An indepth look at Panic Button ports with Digital Foundry

Doom on Switch: The Complete Technical Analysis!
Wolfenstein 2 Switch Analysis: Can Mobile Hardware Really Run a Cutting-Edge Shooter?
  • Games Developed by Panic Button
  • Panic Button Staff

YearBoxTitlePlatformPublisherGenre
2020Doom EternalDoom EternalNintendo SwitchBethesda SoftworksFirst-Person Shooter
2019Torchlight Torchlight IINintendo Switch
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Runic GamesAction RPG
Hack and Slash
2019Doom 3Doom 3Nintendo Switch
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
ActivisionFirst-Person Shooter
2019Wolfenstein - YoungbloodWolfenstein: YoungbloodNintendo SwitchBethesda SoftworksFirst-Person Shooter
2019Hob - The Definitive EditionHob: The Definitive EditionNintendo SwitchRunic GamesAction-Adventure
2018SubnauticaSubnauticaPlayStation 4
Xbox One
Unknown Worlds EntertainmentAction-Adventure
Survival
2018WarframeWarframeNintendo SwitchDigital ExtremesAction RPG
2018Wolfenstein II - The New ColossusWolfenstein II: The New ColossusNintendo SwitchBethesda SoftworksAction-Adventure
First-Person Shooter
2018To the TopTo the TopPlayStation 4Panic ButtonVR Simulation
2017DoomDoomNintendo SwitchBethesda SoftworksFirst-Person Shooter
2017Astro Duel DeluxeAstro Duel DeluxeNintendo SwitchPanic ButtonShoot 'em up
2016ReCoreReCorePC
Xbox One
Microsoft StudiosAction-Adventure
Platformer
2016Rocket LeagueRocket LeagueNintendo Switch
Xbox One
PsyonixSports
2015Octodad - Dadliest CatchOctodad: Dadliest CatchWii UYoung HorsesAdventure
2015Primal Carnage - ExtinctionPrimal Carnage: ExtinctionPlayStation 4Circle Five StudiosFirst-Person Shooter
2013Injustice - Gods Among UsInjustice: Gods Among UsPlayStation VitaWarner Bros. Interactive EntertainmentFighting
2012Top Hand Rodeo TourTop Hand Rodeo TourXbox 360SFC Rodeo GamesSports
2012Ms. Splosion ManMs. Splosion ManPCMicrosoft StudiosPlatformer
2012Kinect Star WarsKinect Star WarsXbox 360LucasArts
Microsoft Studios
Action
2011Hulk Hogan's Main EventHulk Hogan's Main EventXbox 360MajescoWrestling
2010SwordsSwordsWiiMajescoFighting
2010Attack of the Movies 3DAttack of the Movies 3DWii
Xbox 360
MajescoRail Shooter
2009We Wish You a Merry ChristmasWe Wish You a Merry ChristmasWiiDestineerParty
2009Go Play LumberjacksGo Play LumberjacksWiiMajescoSimulation

ProfileNameRoleTenure
Profile PlaceholderCraig GalleyCo-founder
Technical Director
2007-Present
Profile PlaceholderD. Michael TraubCo-founder
Technical Director
2007-Present
Profile PlaceholderRussell ByrdCo-founder2007-Present
Aaron SmischneyAaron SmischneyCo-founder2007-2014
Adam CreightonAdam CreightonCo-owner
General Manager
Director of Development
2011-2019
Lyndsay PistellaLyndsay PistellaQA Analyst2019-Present
Alex WelshAlex WelshSoftware Engineer2014-Present
Profile PlaceholderWesley JowittSenior Software Engineer2017-Present
Jamus ThaynJamus ThaynSenior Artist2018-Present
Profile PlaceholderTravis ArcherSenior Engineer2013-Present
Profile PlaceholderLonnie FinkSenior Programmer2014-Present
Profile PlaceholderChuck KarpiakSenior Engineer2015-Present
Profile PlaceholderJohnny SalazarProgrammer2015-Present
Alexander DemyanenkoAlexander DemyanenkoSenior Software Engineer2019-Present
Profile PlaceholderWilliam DiSantoSoftware Engineer2017-2019
Yashas GujjarYashas GujjarSoftware Engineer2018-Present
Himanshu PaulHimanshu PaulSoftware Engineer2019-Present
Ajinkya DhoteAjinkya DhoteSoftware Engineer2017-Present
Ethan W KampaEthan W KampaAudio Designer
Quality Assurance
2017-Present
Profile PlaceholderWeibin WuSoftware Engineer2019-Present
Profile PlaceholderJoseph Bird3D Artist2014-Present
David PollanDavid PollanSoftware Engineer2017-Present
Dan HernbergDan HernbergHead of Production2018-Present
Phillip JohnsonPhillip JohnsonSoftware Engineer2017-Present
Chris BarrettChris BarrettQA Project Lead2018-Present
Billy SpearsBilly SpearsIT Director2019-Present
Neill GlancyNeill GlancyStudio Creative Director2019-Present
Scott OsbornScott OsbornSenior Engineer2014-Present