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Notorious Studios, A New Game Dev Studio Announced Today, Made Up Of Blizzard Veterans

Joseph Bradford Posted:
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Another studio housing former Blizzard veterans has popped up, this time in the form of Notorious Studios. The development studio is made up of former World of Warcraft, Overwatch and Diablo developers, focusing on the "team first."

The name of the studio itself is a play on many of the developer's World of Warcraft guild, which was also named Notorious. The studio, in an interview with VentureBeat's Mike Minotti, is setting out to create its own worlds, with studio head Chris Kaleiki describing his team as "world-builders."

"Ultimately we’re all really world-builders on our team. We like building worlds. That’s what our focus is going to be in our first title."

In the interview with VentureBeat, Kaleiki stops short of explaining exactly what game they are building, other than it's a "multiplayer RPG with third person." Many of the dev team has worked on World of Warcraft itself, with Co-Founder Chris Kaleiki serving as a former systems and class designer for World of Warcraft, specifically designing the Monk class. Many of the developers also worked on memorable parts of Blizzard's MMORPG, helping to build the world of Azeroth and beyond. Adivsing the studio are former Nexon GM and the project manager on WildStar Jonathan Jelinek, as well as Riot's former head of strategy on League of Legends Omeed Rameshni.

Notorious Studios has some backing as well from Galaxy Interactive, Riot Games as well as 1UP Ventures. The team laid out its core values on its new website, specifically stating how they plan to approach building games, specifically from a "team first, then players" mentality.

This is pretty important to establish early on as many on the team are coming from a background at Blizzard while their former employer is dealing with the fallout of accusations of sexual harrassment and improper workplace practices by a California agency. Kalieki addresses this in the interview with VentureBeat, describing how he looks to create an environment that is "transparent and open," and has a "zero tolerance" policy when it comes to harrassment.

"We aspire to have that flatter structure where we don’t have a rigid hierarchy. Harassment usually comes from a subordinate-superior sort of relationship. We’re hoping that flatter structure can address some of those problems.”


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore