Former World of Warcraft game designer Chris Kaleiki said he was “dissatisfied with the state of the game” after quitting Blizzard Entertainment last year. He announced the launch of a company called Notorious studio, Got the support of some investors, one of them is League of Legends and Valorant developer Riot Games.
According to reports, Riot’s investment in Notorious Studios is part of a $5 million injection, which also includes venture capital funds Galaxy Interactive and 1Up Ventures. VCsKaleiki said Riot’s decision to support the studio reflects a shared commitment to their players and community.
“I think they are a developer who cares very much about the player experience,” he told the site. “They have franchises that are loved by players. We have a lot of friends and colleagues who work at Riot. They used to work at Blizzard. I have always had a good view of them.”
The eight-person founding team of Notorious Studios is entirely composed of Blizzard veterans. Only one of them has worked in World of Warcraft. Kaleiki said on Twitter that when he plans his next move, he wants to make sure that he joins a person with “cultural values.” The team is similar to what he experienced at Blizzard.
3/ After evaluating my options, it is clear that some of my cherished colleagues who have worked at Blizzard for many years are looking for the next step in their own careers. So we started doing some crazy things together: we started our own studio together.October 25, 2021
“After evaluating my options, it became clear that some of my cherished colleagues at Blizzard [with] I have been looking for a similar next step in my career for years,” he wrote on Twitter. “So we started doing something crazy together: starting our own studio together. “
Kaleiki pointed out that the cultural values he was referring to prioritize things like “player experience”. This clarification makes his statement less shocking in the current context, but still clearly out of touch. As we have been learning since July, Blizzard’s “cultural values” allegedly created a work environment full of discrimination and sexual misconduct. A lawsuit and employee reports in California led to the dismissal of several senior employees, including former President J. Allen Brack and World of Warcraft designer Jonathan LeCraft. Blizzard also changed several NPC and location names in its game to eliminate references to abusers.
Kaleiki said Blizzard’s “challenges” were “really disturbing” [and] It’s hard to hear” and said that “notorious” will “will not tolerate things like harassment.” “The studio aims to avoid similar situations by “pursuing a flatter structure”, which Kaleiki believes will make it more “transparent and open.”
“None of us are leaders or directors,” he said. “In our careers before, we were all individual contributors. We were just people who built or coded or made art or design things. We aspired to have a flatter structure without a strict hierarchy. Harassment usually comes from a kind of superior or superior Relationship. We hope a flatter structure can solve some of these problems.”
But the effectiveness of the system in practice is an open question. Valve is the most famous game development company that claims to have a hierarchical and flat concept, but reports over the years have questioned whether Valve’s structure is truly different from other companies’ structures. In 2013, former Valve hardware developer Jeri Ellsworth stated that the company’s flat structure actually contained a “hidden layer of strong management.” In 2018, a former employee of a “self-organizing” company in Bellevue, Washington, was arrested. It is believed that Valve said that this structure encouraged ruthless internal politics.
Kaleiki did not specify what Notorious Studios will do for its first project, but said in the introduction video that “the key elements of the game stem from our shared passion as a team, including core RPG fantasy, multiplayer gameplay, and excellent Fighting.” His views on VentureBeat are more specific, describing the project as a multiplayer, third-person role-playing game, although it remains to be seen whether it will become a complete MMO.exist Twitter, Kaleiki said that he hopes to share more information about the game “as soon as possible.”