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NetEase launches new US studio led by Bethesda and BioWare veterans

Austin-based studio T-Minus Zero Entertainment will be headed by Rich Vogel

Image credit: T-Minus Zero. From left to right: Rich Vogel, Scott Malone, Mark Tucker, Jeff Dobson

NetEase Games has announced the creation of a new development studio in Austin, Texas.

Called T-Minus Zero Entertainment, the studio will be led by industry veteran Rich Vogel, of Ultima Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic fame. Vogel had most recently been working at Certain Affinity as VP of production and online services.

Joining him as game director is Mark Tucker, former design director at Bethesda and game designer for the past 22 years.

Jeff Dobson also joined as art director – he also had a brief stint at Bethesda but is mostly known for his 13 years at Bioware in various leading art and animation roles.

Finally, Scott Malone will be T-Minus Zero Entertainment's VP of operations and production, after seven years at Bethesda (most recently as production director) and over four years at Zenimax.

The team's debut title will be a third-person online multiplayer action game based on a new sci-fi IP.

Vogel commented: "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."

Simon Zhu, president of global investments and partnerships at NetEase Games, added: "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."

NetEase already has one studio based in Austin: Jackalyptic Games. It was the Chinese company's first first US studio, opened in May 2022. It was initially launched under the name Jackalope Games until it rebranded in May 2023 as it announced it was working on the Warhammer IP.

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Marie Dealessandri avatar
Marie Dealessandri: Marie joined in 2019 to head its Academy section. A journalist since 2012, she started in games in 2016. She can be found (rarely) tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate and the Dead Cells soundtrack. GI resident Moomins expert.
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