NetEase Games continues to lure industry veterans, expanding its presence in the Western market. This time, the Chinese tech giant has joined forces with MMORPG designer Greg Street.
Street will lead a new studio called Fantastic Pixel Castle. With funding from NetEase, he will work with other experienced developers to create a new MMORPG codenamed Ghost.
As explained on the studio’s official website, the game is set in a new fantasy world and is designed to bring back central pillars of the MMO genre like playing with friends and building a community. It is now in the early stages of development, so Fantastic Pixel Castle plans to share more details in the future.
With over 20 years in the games industry, Street has worked at Ensemble Studios (lead game designer on Age of Empires III) and lead systems designer at Blizzard (World of Warcraft). He also spent nine years at Riot Games, working as lead game designer and design director on League of Legends, as well as serving as executive producer and doing R&D for the company’s untitled MMO project.
In addition to Street, Fantastic Pixel Castle’s core team consists of:
- CTO Cam Dunn — former technical director of League of Legends at Riot Games and studio technical director at ArenaNet (Guild Wars 2), who also worked at Meta and Apple;
- Gameplay design director Brian Holinka — former Blizzard combat designer (World of Warcraft), who also worked on games like Homefront and Frontlines: Fuel of War;
- Content design director Candace Thomas — Blizzard veteran (WoW, Diablo 4), who also worked on Riot’s upcoming MMO game;
- Art director David Kubalak — former studio art director at Robot Entertainment (Orcs Must Die);
- UX director Ed Altorfer — former principal UX designer at Riot Games (Teamflight Tactics, LoL, and the untitled MMORPG);
- Production director Lisa Ohanian — former producer at Riot Games, who also worked on 2018’s God of War.
Fantastic Pixel Castle is a fully remote team. “We think top-heavy bureaucracy stifles creativity, so we aim to stay small as we focus on delivering a game and a world that you will love,” the studio says.
We are Fantastic Pixel Castle, a new games studio making an epic AAA MMORPG codenamed Ghost.
To learn more about our studio and vision for Ghost, visit our website at https://t.co/34jbooP5JE.
— Fantastic Pixel Castle (@FPCStudio) November 2, 2023
The foundation of Fantastic Pixel Castle is in line with NetEase’s expansion strategy. In 2023, the Chinese tech giant launched T-Minus Zero Entertainment, a studio led by MMO veteran Rich Vogel, not to mention Bad Brain Studios, PinCool, and Anchor Point.
Last year, NetEase invested in Rebel Wolves, a studio founded by The Witcher 3 game director Konrad Tomaszkiewicz, started GPTRACK50, a team led by former Resident Evil and DMC producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi, and acquired Detroit: Become Human developer Quantic Dream.