Former Blizzard, Relic Entertainment and Sony Online Entertainment developers have formed a new San Diego-based studio called Molten Games.
Former senior director of global community development and eSport at Blizzard, Paul Della Bitta is Molten’s chief product officer. Blaine Smith, who was lead designer on Pox Nora for SOE and also lead designer on Company of Heroes Online at Relic Entertainment is the company’s VP of creative development.
Speaking to GamesIndustry International, Molten Games said the firm was founded in order to have creative control over its own development and Intellectual Property.
“We remember the games and the dev studios back in the day,” Della Bitta said, in part. “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.”
The first title from Molten will be a free-to-play, online triple-A PC title. Development was funded through a multi-million dollar investment from NCSoft.
“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,” Della Bitta explained. “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.”