Chinese conglomerate NetEase has been acquiring and establishing video game studios for a few years now, and we’re starting to hear more about the fruits of those labors. Earlier this month, NetEase announced the founding of T-Minus Zero Entertainment, led by BioWare and Bethesda veteran Rich Vogel, which is working on an “online multiplayer-focused third-person action” game. Now, thanks to a new interview, we have a few additional pieces of information, including that it’s not technically a new IP.
Speaking to VGC, game director Mark Tucker said that the project is “based on a public domain IP that is recognized globally. It’s going to be a third-person IP. We’re going to make it our own and add our own personality to it. You’ll instantly recognize the inspiration behind it, but it will be its own unique thing”.
Vogel went into further detail about what the team is looking to build, saying that it will be a “game as a service title that players will talk about for a while and form lasting relationships with”. However, it won’t be a battle royale or feature grinding as a core focus, as those won’t be “truly innovative” by the time the project launches.
VGC theorizes that the project might be based on H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds, which several indie developers have previously or are currently already taking a tilt at. However, as public domain usually applies 70 years from the creator’s passing, other works from Wells are possibilities, as are the likes of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne, The Last Man by Mary Shelley, or The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, all of which could make for a novel multiplayer experience.
Whatever the project and IP is, we’re unlikely to learn anything concrete for quite some time, as T-Minus Zero is still staffing up. T-Minus Zero is a promising team with the first-party backing of NetEase, though, so we’ll keep an eye out for more details on this multiplayer project as they emerge.