NetEase has built a strong reputation in its home country, China. However, it has also been slowly expanding its presence in the West. The first sign of this change came in May this year, when the company launched its first studio in the United States, Jackalyptic Games.
Today, NetEase has announced that it’ll be opening yet another studio in Austin, Texas, named T-Minus Zero Entertainment, which would be headed by Rich Vogel, a veteran game developer who is known for his work on the Star Wars franchise.
T-Minus Zero would be his fourth studio in Austin after Sony Online Entertainment, Bioware, and Bethesda Game Studios. It is reported that the combined lifetime revenue of these studios is roughly close to $3 billion. Other than Vogel, three industry veterans would head this studio: Mark Tucker, Scott Malone, and Jeff Dobson.
The studio aims to work on original IPs, the first of which would be a third-person online multiplayer game, set in a sci-fi world. This game, however, is far from complete since the studio itself formed only three months ago, and so, naturally, not a lot could’ve been done during this time. Here’s what Vogel has to say about the future of the studio:
Our studio’s mission is to create epic, immersive worlds where players from around the globe can play together, forming vibrant and passionate communities. The team at NetEase Games shares our vision to create memorable and meaningful experiences, and they have made it a priority to provide the support and creative freedom to allow us to make our dream a reality.”Rich Vogel – T-Minus Zero Entertainment
To achieve this, T-Minus Zero has also adopted a flexible remote-working policy, where devs would be given complete freedom and creative space. At the moment of this writing, the studio is still hiring, for the positions of Senior Gameplay Designer, Lead Animator, Lead Gameplay Engineer, Lead Level Designer, Lead Environment Artist, and Lead Character Artist.
T-Minus Zero Entertainment has been built with an inspiring roster of talented veterans with unparalleled industry knowledge and the passion to create wholly original gaming experiences.
NetEase Games strongly believes in empowering creators with the ability to build games that will inspire players and evolve over time with its community. We can’t wait to share more of what Rich and the team are working on, and we’ll make every effort to help them grow.”Simon Zhu – President of Global Investments and Partnerships at NetEase
With such an experienced team, it will be interesting to see how the studio progresses under the leadership of Vogel, who has already made a name for himself in this field. However, we will have to wait a while for the first fruits of their labor, as they are still in the early stages of development.
This is all we know for now but rest assured that we will keep you updated as new information becomes available.