NetEase has established a new first-party studio, T-Minus Zero Entertainment. The team will be led by Rich Vogel, an industry veteran known for his contributions to a number of MMO titles such as Ultima Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic.

What is known about T-Minus Zero Entertainment?

Based in Austin, Texas, T-Minus Zero Entertainment will operate under the umbrella of NetEase Games.

“Our studio’s mission is to create epic, immersive worlds where players from around the globe can play together, forming vibrant and passionate communities,” studio head Rich Vogel said in a statement.

In addition to Vogel, the T-Minus Zero Entertainment team includes:

  • Game director Mark Tucker, who worked at NCSoft, Certain Affinity, and Bethesda on games like Crimson Alliance, Doom (2016), and Fallout 76;
  • Art director Jeff Dobson, an industry veteran whose portfolio includes titles such as Star Wars: The Old Republic and Dragon Age: Inquisition;
  • VP of operations and production Scott Malone, former production director at Bethesda Game Studios and live services manager at ZeniMax Online Studios (The Elder Scrolls Online).

NetEase’s new subsidiary is now working on a multiplayer third-person action game set in a sci-fi universe. “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,” Simon Zhu, president of global investments and partnerships at NetEase Games, said.

The studio also has a remote-first approach, currently looking for game developers across the globe.

Who is Rich Vogel?

  • Rich Vogel started his gamedev career in the early 90s, working at titles like NFL Football Trivia Challenge for CD-I and SEGA CD.
  • In 1996, he joined 3DO where he worked on Meridian 59, the first 3D MMORPG. He was also the one to come up with the fixed subscription model for online games instead of billing players by hour or session.
  • Vogel then joined Origin Systems to work on Ultima Online. He managed the development of backend systems and oversaw the game’s live service.
  • During his career, Vogel also launched a number of in-house studios within different companies, including Sony Online Entertainment, BioWare Austin, and Bethesda Game Studios Austin.
  • His extensive portfolio also includes games like Star Wars: Galaxies, and Star Wars: The Old Republic.

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