Rocketwerkz, the New Zealand-based indie studio founded by DayZ creator Dean Hall, announced yesterday that it's been “quietly ramping up” its staff over the past year in order to support work on a new triple-A project. The name and nature of the project have not been revealed, but Hall told Eurogamer that it will be multiplayer, and that he believes it will fill a unique niche that other developers have overlooked.
"I believe it's a gap in the market," Hall said. "For that reason I'm going to be pretty coy about exact specifics of it—also because of expectations and how experimental we are at the moment. I need to be deliberately coy; I need to avoid a kind of War Z situation."
Dean said Rocketwerkz' goal is to carve out “new territory in terms of new multiplayer games, or repurposing different parts of other genres.” He predicted that many people will view the new project as a “niche game” when it's revealed, but added that “a lot of people would have said that about DayZ.”
He also claimed that Rocketwerkz has quietly pulled off a “revolution” over the past six months by attracting “very senior staff” from studios including Creative Assembly, Bethesda, and Bohemia Interactive. It was able to do so through its partnership with Chinese gaming company Tencent, which isn't publishing the new game but has invested in the studio. Rocketwerkz also appears to be taking a very Valve-like approach toward getting things done.
“We've adopted a very strong cell structure across the entire studio, so very experimental projects. That means that we give a lot of autonomy to the people we're getting,” he said. “The studio will keep growing as much as we can but it will maintain the cell structure, so in a lot of cases you're talking about teams around the seven size, and some of those cells will gravitate together around larger projects. And with this big project that is exactly what it is. It started out as independent cells working on different stuff who sort of end up on the same track and their work melds together."