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ArenaNet founder Jeff Strain opens new studio Undead Labs

Studio begins work on definitive MMO console zombie game

ArenaNet founder Jeff Strain has announced his formation of new Seattle, Washington-based studio named Undead Labs.

The new studio, he said, will focus on taking online gaming in "bold new directions", starting with creating the definitive massively multiplayer online zombie game on console.

"Every time I see a good zombie movie with friends, we spend days debating our strategies for surviving the zombie apocalypse," said Strain. "The police station, or the supermarket? Garden rake, or staple gun? Bach, or the White Stripes? I'm a game developer, so I’d probably be useless for anything other than ghoul bait, but I'm excited to have the opportunity to build an MMOZ that lets us put those strategies to the test and find out for sure."

Strain founded Guild Wars developer ArenaNet with fellow Blizzard alumni Mike O'Brien and Patrick Wyatt in 2000.

Following ArenaNet's acquisition by NCsoft, he became president of product development at NCsoft West before leaving in August this year to focus on the creation of Undead Labs.

His former development experience includes work on StarCraft, Diablo and World of Warcraft.

Undead Labs, he says, has built its team from the most talented - and zombie loving - in the industry. Its goal is to pioneer a new development model that will create a new breed of MMO built from the ground-up for consoles.

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Kath Brice