Crystal Dynamics’ upcoming Avengers is probably going to have some pretty bad ass Thor gameplay, as the Square Enix subsidiary has just opened a brand new studio and hired God of War’s lead combat designer Vincent Napoli. The all-new satellite studio is based in Bellevue, Washington, and has been imaginatively named Crystal Northwest.

“The new studio in the Seattle area is officially up and running as of today, and is a full-fledged extension of Crystal Dynamics,” a press release said. “Dedicated initially to technology development, it delivers even more expertise to the highly-anticipated Avengers.”

Other new hires, in addition to Napoli, include Ben Wanat (Dead Space), David Fifield (Halo), and more. Scot Amos, the co-head at Crystal Dynamics, said: “We’re aggressively scaling up our teams and adding a new studio with spectacular talent to deliver the ultimate gaming experiences for our players. We have assembled a team of industry veterans and leaders in order to create gaming experiences that surpass the expectations of our passionate community.”

Things must now be getting serious on the Avengers front, so we imagine we may get a glimpse of what the developer’s been up to at some point soon. It would appear that Square Enix is betting big on the success of this project – but then, a high-quality game based on some of the biggest characters from the Marvel universe seems like a slam dunk, doesn’t it?