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Call of Duty: Black Ops veteran David Vonderhaar announces new NetEase studio


Veteran Call of Duty: Black Ops designer David Vonderhaar has established a new “AAA game studio” with NetEase.

Announced on Tuesday, BulletFarm is described as a “remote-first” company headquartered in Los Angeles, California.

Vonderhaar, who worked on a total of eight Call of Duty instalments starting with the original game in 2003, announced his departure from Treyarch last summer. He was best known for directing the multiplayer modes of nearly all the studio’s CoD entries.

Joining Vonderhaar as the new studio’s creative director is veteran game designer Chris Cowell, who previously worked on Call of Duty games, including Modern Warfare (2019), Warzone and Black Ops – Cold War.

According to NetEase’s announcement, BulletFarm is developing “a new and ambitious AAA game, built in Unreal Engine 5 and set in an original universe with an emphasis on co-operative gameplay”.

Call of Duty: Black Ops veteran David Vonderhaar announces new NetEase studio
A logo for BulletFarm.

It added: “The game will craft a more intimate and relatable experience while offering a fresh take on first-person gameplay.”

Vonderhaar said in a statement: “Starting this new studio has given me a chance to step out of my comfort zone and try my hand at making something entirely new and different.

“This is a departure from the games I’ve worked on, but one that showcases my passion for rich characters, precise mechanics, more intimate storytelling, and plenty of action.

“NetEase has provided us an incredible support structure to explore these new avenues and allow true freedom to begin building the concept and ideas for our game.”

Simon Zhu, president of global investments and partnerships at NetEase Games, added: “NetEase Games is fully dedicated to giving BulletFarm the resources and support required to build this new first person experience.

“David’s leadership and the early collection of game development talent assembled at the studio is set to offer something truly unique for his existing fans along with a new audience.”