The development team, whose past work includes Halo Infinite, the Batman: Arkham trilogy and Doom (2016), has teamed up with Chinese tech giant NetEase to create a new studio that will develop AAA-class narrative action games.
The announcement of stellar new studio Jar of Sparks comes less than two months after Halo Infinite lead designer Jerry Hook left 343 Industries. Hook became head and CEO of the studio and will work with fellow founding members: Paul Crocker, who was lead director on the Batman: Arkham trilogy; Greg Stone, who produced the 2016 Doom revival, and Steve Dyke, whose credits include the Halo series, SSX, and NBA Street.
Hook says the studio’s mission is to bring the next generation of narrative action games to new IPs. On social media, Hook wrote:
We will create games that are fun to play with a team that has the creative freedom to innovate and make their dreams come true. We are starting out as a remote/hybrid studio and will be opening jobs around the world. We’ve been building games for some of the biggest companies in the gaming industry, and now it’s time to let our personal genie out of the bottle. We want to create something new, innovative and exciting
In an interview with IGN, Hook suggested that the studio’s debut game, Jar of Sparks, would be released in about 3-4 years. Although Hook has worked on projects such as Xbox Live and Destiny, he confirmed that the studio’s first project will not be a live service game due to the pressure that this kind of thing puts on a small studio in its infancy.
One of the biggest problems we all face is that a new studio is a lot of risk. You form a whole team of people who don’t know each other, have never worked with each other or with a brand new IP. The live service adds even more complexity, and I really think that, based on my own experience with service games, the amount of work that needs to be done to get the live service to work is simply enormous.