ArenaNet, Undead Labs Founder Jeff Pressure Opens New Studio


Business veteran Jeff Pressure has opened Chance House, a brand new recreation improvement studio embracing distant work to attract on expertise from around the globe. 

Pressure is a former Blizzard developer, having co-founded ArenaNet, the studio behind Guild Wars, over 20 years in the past. He additionally based Undead Labs, the studio behind State of Decay that Microsoft acquired in 2018. Chance House has already gathered up some spectacular expertise, too, that includes former builders from Campo Santo, Ubisoft, Insomniac, Double High-quality, BioWare, EA, and extra. 

“We felt this was the suitable time to create one thing new – a studio constructed from the bottom as much as embrace evolving wants and views for each gamers and builders,” Pressure writes in a press launch. “Like many others, the previous yr and a half has been a fraught time for me. Whereas I’m grateful that my household is secure, the anxiousness, worry, and isolation of the final 18 months has been nearly insufferable at instances. That worry and isolation was the catalyst for Chance House, a contemporary type of recreation studio, the place we’re making a joyful recreation that’s been my dream for a few years.” 

That COVID-19-related anxiousness additionally seemingly impressed Pressure to make Chance House a “distributed recreation improvement studio” that enables “builders to stay and work wherever they need.” Whereas the corporate welcomes distant work, Chance House might be based mostly in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

A number of the expertise becoming a member of Pressure at Chance House consists of Firewatch’s former lead surroundings artist, Jane Ng, who additionally served as an artist on Half-Life: Alyx. Ng is Chance House’s visible director. Liz England, who beforehand labored because the lead designer of Watch Canines: Legion and on Sundown Overdrive, will be part of the studio as its narrative techniques design director. Making the leap from video games media to recreation improvement, former Waypoint editor-in-chief Austin Walker will work as Chance House’s IP director. 

Past its dedication to distant work, which opens the doorways to builders worldwide, Chance House additionally goals to serve underserved communities the place its builders would possibly reside. 

“[Possibilty Space] is constructed from the bottom up as a distributed studio, permitting workers to stay the place they need to stay and work the place they need whereas supporting the communities they love,” a press launch concerning the studio reads. “Based mostly in New Orleans, Louisiana, the studio additionally works to determine, mentor, practice, and rent people from underserved and missed communities and backgrounds.” 

At this time’s information comes two months after Pressure referred to as for the gaming trade to unionize in gentle of the continuing lawsuit towards Activision Blizzard, citing that “sufficient is sufficient.” Within the open letter the place Pressure mentioned this, he additionally mentioned that he welcomes his personal staff to unionize and that they’ve his “full endorsement.”


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