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Former Call of Duty designer to lead new NetEase studio

BulletFarm is working on an original first-person co-op game.

BulletFarm

It's been a bleak year so far for the gaming industry, between mass layoffs, projects getting canceled and studios shutting down. There are some specks of light in the darkness, though, thanks to a few surprise hits like Palworld and Helldivers 2, while there are still some studios opening up. One of those is BulletFarm, a nascent NetEase studio led by a former Call of Duty multiplayer designer.

Studio head David Vonderhaar will draw from his experience of working on the Call of Duty: Black Ops series for his latest project, a co-op game set in an original universe. The studio is aiming to offer "a fresh take on first-person gameplay." Vonderhaar describes the project as 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."

BulletFarm is currently hiring workers for the project and, although it's headquartered in Los Angeles, it's a remote-first studio. That could make BulletFarm an enticing prospect for game developers who have lost their jobs over the last several months and may not be able to move to Southern California.

The game industry is said to have cut more than 16,000 jobs since the beginning of 2023, so there are a lot of talented people looking for work. One new studio isn't going to fix that massive labor problem, but it's a step in a positive direction.