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NetEase Studio Working on Well Known Public Domain IP as Sci-Fi Multiplayer Game

T-Minus Zero Entertainment is a NetEase studio working on a multiplayer game based on a famous public domain IP.
Image via T-Minus Zero Entertainment.

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.

About the author

Damien Lawardorn
Editor and Contributor of The Escapist: Damien Lawardorn has been writing about video games since 2010, including a 1.5 year period as Editor-in-Chief of Only Single Player. He’s also an emerging fiction writer, with a Bachelor of Arts with Media & Writing and English majors. His coverage ranges from news to feature interviews to analysis of video games, literature, and sometimes wider industry trends and other media. His particular interest lies in narrative, so it should come as little surprise that his favorite genres include adventures and RPGs, though he’ll readily dabble in anything that sounds interesting.