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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

November 17, 2011 at 11:39 AM

“Call of Duty” vets start new Bellevue game studio

A new game studio in Bellevue surfaced today with plans for an online title targeting the “hardcore social gamer.”

U4iA Games is developing what it calls an “online-only, hardcore fremium, first-person social game” that will be released in 2012.

Studio founders previously worked on core games such as “Call of Duty” and “Doom,” plus “Guitar Hero,” “Spider-Man” and “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.”

They already have 14 employees at offices in the QCB office park on 156th Avenue Northeast.

“U4iA Games is grounded in the insight that core gamers desire robust, social gaming options on social networks and mobile devices,” Dusty Welch, chief executive, said in a release. “Playtime and dollars are starting to migrate from console to casual and/or mobile gaming and a new segment is emerging – the Hardcore Social Gamer.”

Welch and and co-founder and chief creative officer, Chris Archer, earlier worked at Activision.

Archer moved to the Seattle area from Los Angeles last year to head Sony Online Entertainment’s Bellevue studio, then Sony shuttered it in March. He was offered a position at Sony’s studio in San Diego but opted to start a new studio instead.

A combination of self-funding and angel investment raised $1.5 million to start the studio, which is now raising $5 million in funding.

Comments | Topics: Games & entertainment, Sony, Startups

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