NetEase has tapped Bioware veteran Rich Vogel to lead a new studio based in Austin, Texas.
The new opening has been dubbed T-Minus Zero Entertainment and is currently developing a brand new original franchise NetEase describes as a "third-person online multiplayer action game set in a sci-fi universe."
Vogel will lead T-Minus Zero as CEO, having previously served as VP and executive producer at BioWare Austin, where he worked on Star Wars: The Old Republic.
The industry veteran is also known for his work on other major franchises including Meridian 59, Ultima Online, and Star Wars Galaxies.
Key T-Minus Zero Entertainment personnel
Vogel is joined at the studio by other notable figures including game director Mark Tucker, formerly design director at Bethesda Game Studios; art director Jeff Dobson, whose credits include Dragon Age Inquisition and Mass Effect Andromeda; and Scott Malone, former vice president of operations and production at Anthem.
T-Minus Zero will be located in Austin's technology hub and employ a remote-first approach to development and according to Vogel will strive to create "epic, immersive worlds" that can attract vibrant player communities.
NetEase Games president of global investments and partnerships, Simon Zhu, said the Chinese conglomerate will "make every effort" to help T-Minus Zero grow.
The company has been expanding rapidly since the turn of the year, hoovering up talent to open a deluge of studios including PinCool, Bad Brain Game Studios, Anchor Point, and Spliced.