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Former Call of Duty Black Ops dev prepares “ambitious AAA”

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Veteran Call of Duty Black Ops designer David Vonderhaar has established a new “AAA games studio” in partnership with NetEase. Announced on Tuesday (26), BulletFarm was described as a “remote-first” developer, based in Los Angeles, and is already carrying out an “ambitious project”.

Vonderhaar, known for his work on eight Call of Duty games since the original game in 2003, announced his departure from Treyarch in 2023. The designer was best known for directing the multiplayer modes of nearly all of the studio's CoD entries.

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Alongside David, as creative director of the new studio, is veteran Chris Cowell, who also worked as a designer on several games, such as Black Ops Cold War, Modern Warfare (2019) and the free battle royale Warzone.

call of duty Black Ops - game cover showing an operator holding a pistol

According to NetEase's announcement, BulletFarm is developing “an ambitious new AAA game, built on Unreal Engine 5 and set in an original universe with an emphasis on co-op.” Apparently, the first-person approach will continue to be present in its titles:

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The game will provide a more intimate and relational experience, offering a fresh approach to first-person gameplay. Starting this new studio gave me the chance to step out of my comfort zone and try something totally new and different. This is a departure from the games I've worked on, but it demonstrates my passion for rich characters, tight mechanics, more intimate storytelling, and lots of action.

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NetEase is excited about Call of Duty designer's Black Ops game

Simon Zhu, President of Global Investments and Partnerships at NetEase Games, expressed confidence in David and his team: “NetEase Games is fully dedicated to providing BulletFarm with the resources and support needed to build this new first-person experience.”

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