Former Blizzard and SOE staffers form a new studio backed by NCSoft
A new challenger has appeared in the online gaming scene. With former Blizzard and Sony Online Entertainment developers forming part of the team, and backed by a multimillion dollar investment package from NCSoft, Molten Games has today emerged from stealth mode.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.Biz, Molten revealed that the fledgeling studio is working on an as-yet unannounced free-to-play online game for the PC, with AAA production values. Further details on the title were unavailable at this time.
The team at Molten include chief product officer Paul Della Bitta, who was previously senior director of global community development and eSports at Blizzard. Alongside him is VP of creative development Blaine Smith, formerly lead designer on Pax Nora at SOE.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.Biz, Della Bitta stated that securing funding “was actually one of the easier processes of starting the company," referencing the deal Molten has struck with NCSoft. "And honestly, we know we're lucky in that regard, because we know it is difficult to raise money."
With NCSoft already behind ArenaNet’s Guild Wars 2 and Carbine’s WildStar, it seems unlikely that Molten is working on a further MMO. Considering Della Bitta’s and Smith’s backgrounds, a MOBA or competitive deck-management game of some description seems more plausible, and would fill a gap in the Korean publisher’s portfolio.
That said, with League of Legends and DOTA2 dominating the former, and Hearthstone and HEX flooding into the latter later this year, Molten will certainly have a lot to prove. We’ll be watching with eager interest as the studio reveals more in the months ahead.
Gareth “Gazimoff” Harmer, Senior Contributing Editor
Follow me on Twitter @Gazimoff