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NetEase establishes Bad Brain Game Studios from ex-Ubisoft devs

Ubisoft's former Watch Dogs: Legion producer Sean Crooks stays in Toronto to spearhead his own studio for NetEase.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

May 23, 2023

1 Min Read
Promo image for new game developer Bad Brain Studios.

NetEase has formed another subsidiary developer, this time based in Canada. The newly created Bad Brain Game Studios established offices in Toronto and Montreal, and was founded by former Ubisoft producer Sean Crooks. 

Bad Brain marks NetEase's second Canadian developer after it acquired SkyBox Labs earlier in the year. The developer is currently working on an "ambitious new franchise" said to be influenced by cult classic films from the 1980s.

New NetEase Studios

This also comes days after NetEase established another studio: Jackalyptic Games, the studio formerly known as Jackalope.

During his time at Ubisoft, Crooks executive producer 2011's Driver: San Francisco and 2020's Watch Dogs: Legion at the developer's Toronto-based office. The staff consists of fellow ex-Ubisoft employees who have worked on the Splinter Cell games, along with Far Cry 2 and the Just Dance series.

It's unclear if Bad Brain has any connection to NetEase's Montreal studio that was seemingly formed last year. Like Bad Brain, that studio has an former Ubisoft creative as part of its staff, namely Jon Morin, who served as the creative director on the first two Watch Dogs games. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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