Former Halo Infinite Head of Design Establishes New NetEase Studio

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Jerry Hook, a Microsoft veteran and former design lead on Halo Infinite, has landed a new gig as boss of Jar of Sparks, a new development studio owned by Chinese tech giant NetEase.

The new Seattle-based studio will be led by Microsoft veteran Jerry Hook, who recently announced his departure from 343 Industries, where he was design lead on Halo Infinite.

Xbox veteran leads new development studio Jar of Sparks

Jerry Hook, CEO and Studio Head of Jar of Sparks

According to NetEase, Jar of Sparks will create “a new generation of narrative action games, with immersive worlds that will be filled with moments players will want to share with each other.”

While Jar of Sparks seeks to recruit globally, it has already recruited industry veterans, many of whom previously worked on Halo Infinite. Hook joins creative director Paul Crocker, who previously served as lead narrative director on the Batman: Arkham trilogy before joining 343 to work as assistant creative director on Halo Infinite. Jar of Sparks executive producer Greg Stone served as producer on Doom (2016) and Halo Infinite, while director Steve Dyck worked as both animation director and design director for a long list of AAA games, including Halo 4, 5 and Infinite. .

“We’ve made games for some of the biggest video game companies, and now it’s time to attempt to put our own personal lightning in a bottle,” Hook said. “We want to create something new, innovative and it’s great to play.

“When looking to build a new studio, the most critical part of finding the right partner was aligning with the core goals of having the freedom to take innovative risks and prioritizing the passion of our creators. This meant that our player experiences came before the business, which in itself is a risk. NetEase came to the table with a strong first creative approach; they demonstrated the same passion we have for our players and creating new experiences that we think players are looking for.”

What do you think of Hook’s new development studio? Jar of Sparks is a strange name, isn’t it? Let us know your thoughts below.

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