Former talent from Blizzard, Sony Online Entertainment, and Relic have joined forces to create a new development studio called Molten Games.
Della Bitta, the former senior director of global community development at Blizzard, will serve as Molten's chief product officer. In addition, the lead designer who worked at both SOE and Relic, Blaine Smith, will be the vice president of creative development.
Molten Games' first project will be an online free-to-play triple-A game for the PC, funded by NCSoft. Bitta explained why the studio is pursuing this type of game, telling Games Industry:
AAA to us is really an identifier for quality. With the advent of mobile and social games, some gamers are starting to associate free-to-play with games that don't have the depth or overall quality level that was expected of a PC or console title of the past. This is a game that you would have happily paid $60 for at retail. We're just trying to take advantage of the free-to-play model, but we want people to have the same expectation of quality they would if they went and bought a $60 console game at the store.
We remember the games and the dev studios back in the day. We played a lot of Valve and Blizzard games before I worked there. These were studios that were made up of gamers just making great games they enjoyed playing. And we're trying to follow in those footsteps.
While we still know next to nothing about the game itself, it's hard not to get excited when development talent of this caliber is creating something new.