NetEase launches studio led by Halo Infinite's Head of Design

by Adam Fitch  · 
NetEase launches studio led by Halo Infinite's Head of Design
Jar of Sparks

Chinese technology company NetEase has launched a new studio headed up by the former Head of Design for Halo Infinite.

The studio: NetEase claims that it'll have full creative freedom.

  • Jerry Hook has left 343 Industries to lead a new studio, Jar of Sparks, as its CEO in Seattle, US.
  • The AAA studio will create "narrative-driven action games" but, for now, it's still in the process of fleshing out its team. Hook confirmed to IGN that the studio's first project won't be a live service game.
  • The founding team includes Paul Crocker (Creative Director, previously worked on the Batman: Arkham trilogy), Greg Stone (Executive Producer, previously worked on Halo Infinite), and Steve Dyck (Gameplay Director, previously worked on several games in the Halo franchise).

Halo Finite? Halo's latest instalment has had a rocky journey so far.

  • Hook left 343 Industries as the Head of Design for its latest Halo game in May 2022, having spent three years working on the title.
  • More recently, Halo Infinite's Art Director, Nicolas "Sparth" Bouvier, also left the company. He spent 14 years working on the franchise but has now decided it's time to pursue another opportunity.
  • The game has been mired with dissatisfaction from players, both casual and professional, since its launch. Many of them have complained about a lack of content, tech problems ruining the multiplayer experience, a disappointing ranked playlist, and much more.
  • 343 does seem at least partially committed to catering to players' needs and demands, with Senior Community Manager John Junyszek often addressing the community on Twitter. However, having multiple senior members leave the team doesn't look too great for the game.