NetEase has announced the launch of its latest studio, the Texas-based T-Minus Zero Entertainment.
The studio will be led by Rich Vogel, who has previously launched a number of studios including Sony Online Entertainment, Bioware Austin, and Bethesda Game Studios Austin, as well as led development on multiplayer and service-based games such as Ultima Online, Star Wars: Galaxies and Star Wars: The Old Republic.
T-Minus Zero Entertainment is currently working on an online third-person action set in a sci-fi universe. While the studio will be based in Austin, Texas, it has a remote-first approach and is actively seeking developers interested in helping to create an original IP.
"Our studio’s mission is to create epic, immersive worlds where players from around the globe can play together, forming vibrant and passionate communities," said Vogel. "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.
Standing on the shoulders of giants
T-Minus Zero Entertainment's team includes several industry veterans, including Game Director Mark Tucker, who brings 22 years of design experience on titles such as Fallout 76 (Design Director), Doom, and Crimson Alliance (Design Lead); Art Director Jeff Dobson, 26 years of experience on Star Wars The Old Republic, Dragon Age Inquisition, and Mass Effect Andromeda; and Anthem VP, Operations & Production Scott Malone, ten years of production experience on Fallout 76, Doom, and The Elder Scrolls Online.
"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,” said NetEase Games president of global investments and partnerships Simon Zhu. “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 whatRich and the team are working on, and we'll make every effort to help them grow,"
T-Minus currently has no mobile projects in the pipeline, which makes it just the latest in a string of studio foundations and acquisitions of studios outside its established mobile focus, including French interactive movie developer Quantic Dream and Canadian developer Bad Brain Game Studios. As such, while mobile remains the world’s most profitable gaming platform, it appears that NetEase shows no signs of slowing down when it comes to opening additional revenue streams on other platforms.
We listed NetEase as one of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2022. We’ll be unveiling our list for 2023 at our event at Gamescom on August 22.