Bethesda Opens a New Studio in Austin

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Bethesda Softworks this week announced it will open a new game development studio in Austin Texas. The studio will be named Battlecry Studios and will be headed by Rich Vogel. Vogel was most recently the executive producer for Star Wars: The Old Republic at BioWare Austin, but left soon after a large round of layoffs hit the studio.

"We are very pleased to have someone with Rich's vast experience join us at Bethesda," said Vlatko Andonov, president of Bethesda Softworks. "Rich has a history of building and managing talented development teams and bringing high quality games to market, and we look forward to working with him on a new exciting project."

What exciting new project, could Andonov be referring to? Vogel's game industry credits include plenty of MMO experience, including Ultima Online, Star Wars: Galaxies, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Bethesda has already announced The Elder Scrolls Online, an MMO set in Tamriel, where the company's Elder Scrolls franchise games take place. Vogel's MMO experience would suggest that Bethesda needs experienced talent to develop future MMOs. Could this mean an MMO version of Bethesda's other huge franchise, Fallout, could soon be in development. It's always possible, and Fallout fans have been clamoring for and speculating about a Fallout MMO for years.

Bethesda, through its parent company ZeniMax Media, already owns one game development studio in Austin. The company acquired French developer Arkane Studios in 2010, which has a branch in Austin. Arkane has just completed development on Dishonored, which will be released next week.

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