Call of Duty Black Ops vet helms new NetEase studio, BulletFarm

call of duty black ops veteran new studio

David Vonderhaar, best known for his work on Activision and Treyarch‘s Call of Duty Black Ops series, has been announced as the studio head for Los Angeles based BulletFarm. This is the latest development studio created by Chinese gaming giant, NetEase, as it attempts to expand into the western market and leverage industry talent.

BulletFarm is currently working on what it calls “a new and ambitious AAA game, built in Unreal Engine 5 and set in an original universe with an emphasis on co-operative gameplay”. There’s no confirmation on whether this will be an online shooter, though given Vonderhaar’s Call of Duty credits and the mention of “first-person gameplay” this should give some indication as to how this upcoming project will take shape.

“Starting this new studio has given me a chance to step out of my comfort zone and try my hand at making something entirely new and different,” said Vonderhaar. “This is a departure from the games I’ve worked on, but one that showcases my passion for rich characters, precise mechanics, more intimate storytelling, and plenty of action. NetEase has provided us an incredible support structure to explore these new avenues and allow true freedom to begin building the concept and ideas for our game.”

For a long time, NetEase has been one of the biggest names in free-to-play and mobile gaming, positioning itself as one of Tencent’s biggest rivals. It currently runs popular games based on widely recognised IP such as Marvel, The Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter, but has in recent years doubled its efforts to reach new audiences with breakout hits such as the martial arts battle royale game, Naraka: Bladepoint.

BulletFarm is the latest in a string of new western studios NetEase has formed over the past few years. In 2023, it opened Worlds Untold in Vancouver (led by Mass Effect writer, Mac Walters) as well as Fantastic Pixel Castle, T-Minus Zero Entertainment, Bad Brain Game Studios, and Anchor Point Studios.

Source: Press Release

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