BioWare veteran Mac Walters left the storied RPG studio earlier this year after a 19-year career, during which he served as writer (and later lead writer) on the Mass Effect trilogy, creative director on Mass Effect: Andromeda, and production director on the still-in-development Dragon Age: Dreadwolf. Now he’s announced his next venture: A new studio at NetEase called Worlds Untold, dedicated to developing “triple-A action adventure games with an emphasis on narrative and worldbuilding.”
“We’re creating incredible and meaningful stories that we believe are best told and experienced through play,” Walters said. “We are starting by crafting worlds that we all dream of discovering and then will put the player in the leading role of the most unforgettable adventures.
“The team at NetEase Games shares our vision and passion to utilize leading edge technology to create the best possible new games. Their teams’ support and creative freedom affords us the opportunity to deliver on that vision.”
Worlds Untold’s first project is already underway, although no details have been revealed beyond that it’s “a near future action adventure game in a breathtaking world filled with mystery and exploration,” which isn’t especially informative.
NetEase did very strongly imply that it has big ambitions for the new operation, however, saying it envisions not just games but multimedia franchises: The studio aims to “create IPs with depth and possibility that can’t be contained in a single game, or even a single medium.”
That is perhaps a bit overwrought, but NetEase, a Chinese tech giant founded in 1997, seems set on making its presence felt in the Western gaming market. It launched its first US-based studio, Jackalope Games—headed by former Daybreak Game Company chief Jack Emmert—in 2022, acquired Detroit: Become Human developer Quantic Dream shortly afterward, and founded more Western studios headed by well-known industry veterans including Anchor Point, led by Control lead designer Paul Ehreth, and Fantastic Pixel Castle, headed up by former Riot Games vice president Greg Street.