SOE sets up in Seattle

Sony Online Entertainment establishes development studio in the Emerald City, hires FireAnt team to lead production.

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Sony Online Entertainment is establishing a new development studio, SOE-Seattle, in Washington, company officials said today. The studio's staff includes development talent who worked on Ultima Online and Asheron's Call.

Matt Wilson, a 10-year veteran of Microsoft's game development and cofounder of FireAnt, will serve as SOE-Seattle's executive producer. FireAnt was founded in 2004 as a PC and console development shop, but it appears that SOE acquired the company's staff before any games were announced.

"As our business grows, so does the need for more diverse titles," said Russell Shanks, chief operations officer at Sony Online Entertainment. "With the core team's expertise in the video game industry and their passion for making games, we are confident that this new studio will allow us to maintain and expand SOE’s position as one of the worldwide leaders in online gaming."

SOE's online gaming lineup includes the EverQuest series, Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided, and PlanetSide. The company also recently launched a new label, Station Publishing, headquartered in San Diego.

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