Yup, it's true! Just days after THQ closed its NYC-based Kaos Studios – the publisher was never shy about the prohibitive cost of operating a developer in one of the most expensive locations in the country – Avalanche has announced the expansion, to be headed by Activision and Atari veteran David Grijns and opened in the fall of this year. The studio is expected to hire "up to 50 new staff" in its first two years of operation, to work on "large-scale, online-enabled original IP for next-generation consoles, handhelds and PC."
That whole "original IP" bit makes it seem unlikely that Avalanche's long-rumored Mad Max project will be developed in the NYC office. The press release says that the studio's "premiere project is an unannounced AAA title directed by Roland Lesterlin, former Creative Director at Mindspark Interactive, and targeted for release on next generation platforms in 2014." The NYC studio will include "senior staff" from Stockholm and will be recruiting other candidates from, say, recently closed AAA studios in the area.