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Halo Infinite head of design Jerry Hook leading new NetEase studio Jar of Sparks

Xbox veteran and Halo Infinite head of design Jerry Hook has unveiled his new “AAA” studio Jar of Sparks, a first-party developer for Chinese publisher NetEase that will focus on creating the “next generation of narrative-driven action games”.

Hook, who announced his departure from 343 Industries and Microsoft back in May, has a long and notable career in the games industry, having joined the Xbox Live team in 2003. He would later take on an executive producer role at Microsoft after a brief sojourn at Bungie, gaining credits on numerous 343-Industries-developed titles including Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians.

Hooks new studio, Jar of Sparks, is based in Seattle and, according to NetEases press release announcing the formation of the company, already boasts a “team of industry veterans who have worked on some of the biggest franchises in video game history”.

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These include Paul Crocker (previously lead narrative director on the Batman: Arkham trilogy and assistant creative director on Halo Infinite) who joins Jar of Sparks as creative director, plus executive producer Greg Stone, who served as producer on Doom 2016 and Halo Infinite.

Steve Dyck – whose previous animation director and design director credits include the SSX franchise, NBA Street, plus Halo 4, 5, and Infinite – joins the team as executive producer.

Jar of Sparks goal is to “create a new generation of narrative-driven action games” featuring “immersive worlds that will be filled with moments that gamers will want to share with each other”. Theres no hint as to what the studio is currently working on in todays announcement, but hopefully more will be revealed soon.

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