BulletFarm new studio

NetEase Games Reveals New Studio Led By David Vonderhaar, New Co-op Game Announced

While brutal layoffs across the gaming industry have been the big story in recent months, there are some glimmers of good news. Today, NetEase Games revealed a new studio led by David Vonderhaar called BulletFarm. 

Call of Duty fans will instantly recognize Vonderhaar’s name. He’s best known for steering the development of the Call of Duty: Black Ops series. The announcement highlights another Black Ops veteran, Chris Cowell, who will be the studio’s creative director. 

BulletFarm is also hiring for several new positions, and they offer some clues as to what we might see with their first game. 

Under the animator position, one of the qualifications is:

“Have experience working on both humanoid characters and bipedal/quadrupedal creatures.”

Qualifications for the art director position include:

“Must have experience with realistic, real-world environments, objects, and people.”

So, it sounds like the game will focus on a more realistic style.

Today’s announcement does specify Bullet Farm’s first game will “built in Unreal Engine 5 and set in an original universe with an emphasis on co-operative gameplay.”

Vonderhaar had this to say about leading Bullet Farm:

“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.”

Focusing on co-op is a good call. Two of the biggest games of 2024 so far have been co-op focused games with Palworld and Helldivers 2. BulletFarm has a much better chance of success with carving out an audience for a co-op game versus multiplayer. 

Getting a multiplayer game to stay popular has always been challenging, even more so now. We’ve seen games like The Finals surge in popularity before settling to a much smaller audience. It is tough to pull folks away from their go-to multiplayer games like Fortnite, Call of Duty, Rainbow Six, Counter-Strike, etc. 

As for a release date for Bullet Farm’s first game? With the company still looking to fill many positions, it’s likely still years away.