NCSoft announced on Thursday that there is a new kid in town in the MMO biz: Carbine Studios. Located in lovely Aliso Viejo, CA, Carbine is rumored to be working on an MMO, but won't release my else in the way of info on the project.
What makes Carbine so fascinating is who they have on their staff. 17 former Blizzard employees are now working under the Carbine name, including lead World of Warcraft designer Kevin Beardslee. If you listen to the music track available on their downloads page --a track intriguingly entitled "The Awakening"--then you will definitely feel a Blizzard vibe from their work. I snooped a bit around their website, and managed to dig up that they are looking for a Lead Level Designer who maintains "a passion for playing / creating quality video games particularly MMO and RPGs." It would seem that the former Blizzard boys are trying to give the WoW giant a run for their money. The concept art definitely reminds me of Azuremist Isle, at least the two pieces they have released so far.
Does this mean there will finally be a contender in the battle to dethrone WoW? Only time will tell. Check back with us here at Massively for the latest on this tantalizing company.