Ryan Barker has departed Sony Online Entertainment and set up a new studio in the form of Stonethunder Games.
Barker leaves his position as Everquest franchise designer, having worked at SOE for more than a decade. Stonethunder was formed earlier this year, and surfaces around the launch of its first game, according to GamesIndustry.
Joining the Everquest dev is Steve Merghart – who worked on Splatterhouse, NeoPets and Everquest 2 – and long-time musical composer and producer Russell Hugo.
Barker said: "My time in the industry has given me some great friends who are even greater creatives. I'm ecstatic that I'm able to work with them on a project much more personally.
"After fifteen years of EverQuest, it was time to move on to something else. Projects don't get bigger than EverQuest, and I can safely say that our upcoming projects will all be decidedly smaller in comparison. In fact, our first game will fit right on your phone."
Stonethunder's first title is Fruit Folly, a mobile game where players title their phone to guide free-falling fruit through a series of courses.