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Crystal Dynamics opening Washington studio

Bellevue-based Crystal Northwest formed with Wargaming Seattle veterans, set to work on tech development for upcoming Avengers game

Crystal Dynamics has developed another facet. The studio that led development on the Tomb Raider franchise for the last decade announced today the launch of Crystal Northwest, a Bellevue, Washington-based satellite studio.

Crystal Northwest, which began operations today, will initially serve as a technology development studio supporting Crystal Dynamics' projects. It will start with an upcoming game based on Marvel's The Avengers, the first of a multi-game licensing agreement Marvel struck with Crystal Dynamics parent company Square Enix.

Overseeing Crystal Northwest will be a pair of new hires in Chad Queen and James Loe. Both are coming over from the recently shuttered Wargaming Seattle, where Queen was director of development and Loe was technical director. Both were veterans at Wargaming Seattle, with tenure dating back to its time as Gas Powered Games, prior to Wargaming's 2013 acquisition of the studio.

Crystal Dynamics touted a number of other recent hires in addition to Queen and Loe. Vincent Napoli, systems design lead on this year's God of War revamp, is now the studio's new lead combat designer. The studio also announced the arrival of Dead Space 3 creative director Ben Wanat and former Raven Software game director David Fifield.

"Our new studio in Bellevue, and the new hires in Redwood Shores, represent our continued commitment to the most ambitious project we've ever created," Crystal Dynamics co-head of studio Ron Rosenberg said. "We'll keep building on the exciting growth Crystal Dynamics has experienced over the last several years, and are eager to deliver a world-class Avengers experience for fans around the world."

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Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.